The Wolverhampton player, who was speaking at a press conference in Cidade do Futebol, in Oeiras, recalled that football is fertile in surprises, so the point advantage for Serbia, second in the group, with two points less, does not bring any kind of comfort to the ‘quinas’ team.
“At ease, no. There are no easy games, as it has sometimes been added. We know that we will have to be at our best level to beat Luxembourg. But before that, there is a game against Qatar and, for us, there are no friendly games ”, he said.
The 24-year-old is one of several midfielders called up by Fernando Santos for the commitments with Qatar and Luxembourg, in a lineup which is also part of the debutant Matheus Nunes, from Sporting.
“We have a huge range of players to call on and we’re used to it. The ‘mister’ has an extremely difficult task to choose the call and always choose based on the best for the selection. Matheus is an excellent player and we are very happy to have him here with us ”, he said.
Despite having only nine official matches as the first-team selection, Rúben Neves assured that motivation is something that is not lacking in those called up.
“Motivation to come to the national team is something that is not even questioned. There are excellent players to be called upon and the main objective is to do our best to help when we are here. That’s what I try to do. I always have maximum motivation to represent my country”, he stressed.
The Portuguese team plays against Qatar on Saturday, in a private meeting, and three days later they face Luxembourg, for Group A qualifying for the Mundial2022, both matches taking place at the Estádio Algarve.
Portugal leads Group A qualifying for next year’s World Cup, with 13 points, two more than Serbia (11), in second place, and seven more against Luxembourg (six), which is third, ahead of Republic of Ireland (two) and Azerbaijan (one).
The group stage of the European qualifiers for Mundial2022 ends in November and the winner of each of the 10 groups will progress directly to a final stage, while the runners-up will compete in the qualifying play-offs, which they will be joined two League of Nations group winners who fail to qualify directly for a finals or play-offs.
Of these 12 teams present in the play-offs, which will be played in March 2022, the last three European representatives will come out in the next World Cup, which will take place in Qatar, between November 21 and December 18, 2022.