Tiago Ilori vs. Tranmere Rovers. Credit: Propaganda

Tiago Ilori named in Portugal squad for 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

Liverpool centre-back Tiago Ilori has been named in Portugal’s 18-man squad for the summer Olympics in Brazil.

The tournament, to be hosted in Rio de Janeiro, will begin on August 4, with 16 nations vying to reach the final on August 20.

Portugal find themselves in Group D, alongside Honduras, Algeria and Argentina, and will begin their campaign against the latter, whose squad includes West Ham United forward Manuel Lanzini.

Rui Jorge, coach of the Portuguese Olympic team, has selected Ilori in his squad for the tournament, with the 23-year-old cleared for duty by his club.

This comes as a boost for Jorge, who saw Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Gomes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario, Renato Sanches and Ruben Neves all withdrawn from selection.

Ilori’s participation in the Olympics could see him miss Liverpool’s tour of the US, which begins with a clash against Chelsea on July 27.

The Reds will also take on AC Milan (July 30) and AS Roma (August 1), before returning for a showpiece fixture at Wembley Stadium on August 6, where they will pit themselves against Barcelona.

Liverpool round off their pre-season schedule with a trip to Jurgen Klopp‘s former side, Mainz, on August 7, before the Premier League season begins away to Arsenal on August 13.

If Portugal reach the latter stages of the tournament, Ilori will therefore also miss the Reds’ second game of the season at Burnley (August 20).

This could come as a blow to Klopp, who is only able to call upon Ilori, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Andre Wisdom as centre-back options at this stage.

Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez are both still out with injury, while Martin Skrtel completed his £5.5 million move to Fenerbahce on Thursday.

Speaking after Ilori’s strong second-half display in Wednesday night’s 5-0 win away to Fleetwood Town, Klopp said “you saw Tiago Ilori today—not bad!”

But with the former Sporting CP defender believed to be surplus to requirements under the German this summer, his trip to Brazil could well see him leave Merseyside on a permanent basis.

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