LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Nani's hamstring injury has opened the door for Adelino Freitas, better known as Vieirinha, to earn his first call-up for Portugal as the Euro 2012 semifinalist tries to get its World Cup qualifying campaign back on track.
The 27-year-old Wolfsburg winger was selected Thursday in the Portuguese squad to play Israel on March 22 and Azerbaijan four days later. Coach Paulo Bento also recalled Benfica midfielder Carlos Martins and Olympiakos striker Paulo Machado. FC Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho was selected despite his bruised thigh.
Portugal is joint second with Israel in Group F, five points behind leader Russia after four games. It has two wins, a draw and a loss.
Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Eduardo (Istanbul BB), Beto (Sevilla).
Defenders: Joao Pereira (Valencia), Bruno Alves (Zenit St. Petersburg), Henrique Sereno (Valladolid), Luis Neto (Zenit St. Petersburg), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Silvio (Deportivo La Coruna), Pepe (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Carlos Custodio (Braga), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (FC Porto).
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto), Helder Postiga (Real Zaragoza), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Danny (Zenit St. Petersburg), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Pizzi (Deportivo la Coruna), Paulo Machado (Olympiakos).