Despite appearing on the bench for Bayern Munich this weekend, Renato Sanches is still not quite 100% ready to play. The 19-year-old’s callup to the Portugese national team has been canceled on the recommendation of both the Bayern Munich and national team medical staff.
The team states that Sanches is still not match fit and completed individual training exercises on Monday.
While the health of Sanches is the most important priority for both Bayern Munich and Portugal, it’s eminently likely that if say these were do-or-die World Cup qualifying matches that he would be on the plane. The same conditions likely applied for Carlo Ancelotti in the match against Werder Bremen and Sanches was there solely in case Bayern desperately needed him on Friday.
As it stands, Portugal have a friendly fixture against Gibraltar before they get the World Cup qualifying ball rolling against Switzerland in the coming 10-day. Besides a glorious national team homecoming after their Euro 2016 championship, there’s very little to gain from playing a player who is not completely fit.
Or alternately, Sanches’ appearance on the bench against Werder Bremen was entirely ceremonial and Bayern Munich were just blowing smoke last week.