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Portugal defender Pepe out for opening Euro qualifiers

Veteran defender Pepe is out of Portugal's first two EURO 2024 qualifiers. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP

Veteran defender Pepe has been ruled out for Portugal’s first two Euro 2024 qualifying matches later this month, the country’s football federation announced Monday.

The 40-year-old Porto player already missed his side’s match against Sporting Braga this weekend due to a leg injury.

He had been included in new Portugal coach Roberto Martinez’s first squad since the former Belgium coach took over. 

But medics for Portugal’s football federation have signed him off for the matches against Liechtenstein on Thursday and Luxembourg three days later, the Portuguese federation said in a statement.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in Martinez’s first squad as Portugal supremo despite being dropped from the starting lineup for Portugal’s final matches of the World Cup in Qatar where they were knocked out by Morocco in the quarter-finals.

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