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Portugal defender Nuno Mendes ruled out of World Cup

Portugal defender Nuno Mendes ruled out of World Cup

Portugal have been dealt a blow by the news that Nuno Mendes will miss the remainder of the World Cup.

Since emerging on the scene for Sporting Lisbon in 2020, Mendes has quickly established himself as one of the best left-backs in world football.

The 20-year-old’s form for Paris Saint-Germain has led to the youngster already becoming a key part of Fernando Santos‘s national team.

Despite not featuring during the opening fixture against Ghana, Mendes was drafted into the side for the meeting with Uruguay earlier this week.

However, he would last just 42 minutes before sustaining a thigh injury, resulting in his withdrawal before the half-time whistle.

Nuno Mendes in action for Paris Saint-Germain in December 2021© Reuters

At the time, Mendes looked distraught, it being perceived that the issue could lead to him being sidelined for the rest of the tournament.

Although the severity of the injury is yet to be confirmed by Portugal, it has been widely reported in France and elsewhere that Mendes will play no further part in Qatar.

Furthermore, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has indicated that Mendes is not expected to recovery from his thigh problem until the early weeks of 2023.

While the developments with Mendes come as a blow to A Selecao, Santos is not short of alternatives for that position.

Portugal's Joao Cancelo pictured on September 27, 2022© Reuters

Raphael Guerreiro is the most obvious option for Portugal going forward, the Borussia Dortmund man having started the fixture with Ghana before being dropped.

However, Joao Cancelo is capable of switching flanks to feature on the left having done so on many occasions for Manchester City.

The same applies with Diogo Dalot, who is enjoying a strong season with Manchester United, but the 23-year-old is likely to remain as third choice when it comes to playing on the left.

Portugal head into their closing Group H fixture with South Korea on Friday having already qualified for the last 16.

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