Sheffield Wednesday: Owls star thrilled over call-up

Lucas Joao
Lucas Joao

Wednesday striker Lucas Joao has expressed his delight over earning a first senior Portugal call-up.

The 22-year-old will be vying with Benfica’s Gonçalo Guedes, Fenerbahçe’s Nani and Nottingham Forest’s Nélson Oliveira for a striking berth in their friendly against Russia tomorrow.

Since leaving Nacional and moving to Hillsborough last summer, Joao, who has represented his country at Under-20 and U21 level on five occasions, netting twice, has been a big hit, claiming four goals in 18 appearances.

Joao told SAPO Sport: “I am extremely proud; it is a sign that even in a lower rank, the picker (coach) does not cease to be watching.”

Portugal also travel to Luxembourg next Tuesday as they continue their preparations for the 2016 European Championships in France.

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo is sitting out the two warm-up matches but coach Fernando Santos has recalled midfielders André Gomes and William Carvalho following their injury problems.

Santos said: “I have a group of players in mind that are not limited to the 23 or 24 or even 30. There is a range of players we are observing, some of them are part of the U21 set-up but have the chance to represent Portugal at both levels.”

Meanwhile, Owls youngster Josh Stachini played in Northern Ireland’s European Championship qualifying 2-1 win over Norway. Northern Ireland are next in action against Russia today before taking on Slovakia next Monday.

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