The 2016 European champions are said to have reluctantly agreed to PSG’s request to send the duo back for rehab. After a ruthless 6-1 defeat of Switzerland in the round of 16 clash of the ongoing World Cup, the Portuguese will take on the Atlas Lions at the Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday for a spot in the semifinals.
Prior to their quarterfinal matchup against Morocco, Portugal has been dealt a blow due to the injury of Pereira.
Mendes, who was also sidelined last week due to an injury, has suffered the same fate as Pereira and will depart Portugal’s training camp in Qatar, according to a tweet from football journalist Fabrizio Romano on Friday.
“Not just Nuno Mendes. The World Cup is over also for Danilo Pereira after his injury, expected to return to Paris soon. One more blow for Portugal after PSG left back’s injury last week,”the Italian tweeted.
Mendes and Pereira had originally hoped to stay on with the Portuguese squad in Qatar, but the Parisians felt that it would be better if the duo returned to the club for their rehabilitation as soon as possible. The Portugal side, though initially hesitant, have reportedly agreed to the request from PSG.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos will definitely be disappointed with what has transpired in the case of the PSG duo, as he has relied on them during the tournament. Pereira started the opener against Ghana in the centre-back position along with Manchester City man Ruben Dias. Mendes meanwhile, played the first two games before suffering the injury.
Santos will also be tasked with the challenging decision of choosing between Cristiano Ronaldo and SL Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos, who scored a magnificent hat-trick in the 2016 Euro Champions’ 6-1 victory over Switzerland in the round of 16.
They will face a Morocco side who will be coming in with a lot of self-belief after taking out the mighty Spaniards in the pre-quarterfinal.