Portugal won 6-0 at home to Lithuania on Thursday night, effectively guaranteeing their qualification to the Euros next Summer. And Wolves fans got the chance to witness four of their own players share an international stage together.
Ruben Neves and Rui Patricio have become consistent starters for Portugal under manager Fernando Santos. Neves has played 90 minutes in six of the last nine games for his country, and has an impressive 14 caps at just 22 years old. Patricio meanwhile has been the clear number one in goal for Santos, and now has a whopping 86 Portugal appearances.
The Wolves goalie has proved to be a bargain for the club, and is clearly one of the top keepers in the Premier League this season.
Joining Neves and Patricio were Wolves’ other stars: Diogo Jota and João Moutinho. The pair came on in the 72nd and the 83rd minute respectively, with Jota making his first appearance for his national side.
It is likely that all four will be a big part of Santos’ plans for the upcoming European Championships. Although Portugal have a wealth of talent to choose from, it is clear that the Wolves contingent are all amongst the best players in their positions.
Jota will probably have the hardest fight to make the squad for the Championships. Nevertheless, should he continue the progress he has made in recent weeks, he should make it comfortably.
He will have to beat out players such as João Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wolves target Andre Silva for a starting spot. However, at just 22 years old, he will have plenty of time to pick up a host of caps for his national team.
How Far We’ve Come:
The fact that we saw four Wolves players share an international stage shows the incredible progress the club has made. I, for one, remember celebrating Matt Jarvis’ first cap for England like it was a goal. Nowadays, the inclusion of our players in international squads is so common that it can even become annoying.
The Euros could be an opportunity to see a huge number of Wolves stars playing at the highest level. Conor Coady for England, anyone?