Portugal call up Ruben Semedo as he awaits trial for attempted murder
Olympiakos defender Ruben Semedo has received his first call up to the Portugal national team while he awaits trial in Spain over charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery.
Semedo, 25, was named on Thursday in Portugal coach Fernando Santos' squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine.
"Is this proof that nothing is impossible? It may be," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said in a news conference on Thursday when asked about Semedo's inclusion. "It's not because of a setback that people don't have a right to live their lives and continue their paths. Ruben clearly proved that he was able to react, to be there."
Semedo spent 141 days in remanded custody in a jail in Picassent, Valencia, before being released on bond in July 2018 after paying a €30,000 bail.
The former Sporting Lisbon player had been arrested by police in February of 2018 while in the books of La Liga side Villarreal and is awaiting trial in Spain over charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, assault and robbery.
Villarreal got permission from a court to send the player out on loan to Portuguese outfit Rio Ave earlier this year before agreeing to sell Semedo to Olympiakos this summer for an undisclosed fee.
The former Portugal Under-21 player has enjoyed a strong start in Greece, scoring three goals in 11 appearances for Olympiakos.
"We have followed him for some time," Santos said of Semedo. "He is having a very good season at Olympiakos. He came close to be selected last time out but he could not come because of injury."
The European champions take on Luxembourg on Oct. 7 in Lisbon before travelling to Kiev to face Ukraine a week later.
Defenders:Ricardo Pereira (Leicester), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona), Jose Fonte (Lille), Pepe (FC Porto), Ruben Dias (Benfica), Ruben Semedo (Olympiakos), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Rui(Napoli)
Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruma (PSV), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), João Félix (Atletico Madrid).