Celtic forward Jota has been handed a boost after he was named in Portugal’s provisional squad for the World Cup in Qatar.
Portugal manager Fernando Santos was asked to submit a 55-man long list to FIFA last week and the Celtic winger is on the list along with some of the biggest stars in world football.
Santos will narrow the squad down to 26 players by November 10, when he has to finalise his list of players for the tournament.
Jota has missed recent games with injury but could return to Ange Postecoglou’s squad for the Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old former Benfica player has 18 Under-21 caps but has never been called up to the senior squad. His contribution to Celtic’s start of the season, scoring five goals and assisting five more, has increased his chances of making the breakthrough.
However, Jota will face tough competition to make the final cut. Santos’ long list includes eleven forwards, including some well-established internationals.
The Celtic attacker is named alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix, AC Milan’s Rafael Leao, Wolves forward Daniel Podence, Sporting duo Pote and Paulinho, Leipzig’s Andre Silva, Udinese attacker Beto, Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos and Braga’s Vitinha.
Portugal have been drawn to play Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in the group stage of the World Cup and expect to reach the latter stages of the tournament.
Celtic could have a number of players at the finals, with Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate all hopeful of being in their national squad, Cameron Carter-Vickers expecting a USA call-up and Aaron Mooy in Australia contention. Josip Juranovic is likely to be in Croatia’s squad, while Matt O’Riley has an outside chance to be in the Denmark squad along with Oliver Abildgaard.