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Deco may replace Figo in Portugal squad

August 26, 2004 22:00 IST

Deco is likely to replace former captain Luis Figo in the Portugal line-up after coach Luiz Felipe Scolari on Thursday named the Brazilian-born midfielder in his 20-man squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers.

Portugal play Latvia in Riga on September 4 and are at home to Estonia four days later in Group Three, which also includes Slovakia, Russia, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

The 31-year-old Figo, a former World Player of the Year, has announced he is taking an indefinite break from international football after leading his team to the final of Euro 2004, where Portugal lost to Greece.

Figo's decision to take a break followed midfielder Rui Costa's retirement from the international game, leaving Fernando Couto as the only survivor of the so-called "golden generation".

Couto was not named in the squad, however, due to injury, Scolari said.

Brazilian Scolari kept faith in goalkeepers Quim Silva and Ricardo Pereira, leaving out former number one Vitor Baia, who won the Champions League with Porto last season.

Defender Marco Caneira, who has joined Valencia on loan from Girondins Bordeaux this season, earned a recall, along with forwards Luis Boa Morte of English Premier League club Fulham and Porto's Hugo Almeida.


Goalkeepers: Ricardo Pereira (Sporting), Quim Silva (Benfica)

Defenders: Miguel Monteiro (Benfica), Jorge Andrade (Deportivo Coruna, Spain), Marco Caneira (Valencia, Spain), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea, England), Nuno Valente (Porto), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea, England), Rui Jorge (Sporting)

Midfielders: Deco (Barcelona, Spain), Armando Petit (Benfica) Francisco Costinha (Porto), Maniche Ribeiro (Porto) Tiago (Chelsea, England)

Forwards: Simao Sabrosa (Benfica), Luis Boa Morte (Fulham, England), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, England) Helder Postiga (Porto), Hugo Almeida (Porto), Pauleta (Paris St Germain, France)

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