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Monday, 23 February 2009 12:26

Mendes admits Portugal frustration

“It’s hard to understand”

mendesRangers’ Portuguese midfielder Pedro Mendes has spoken of his frustration at the lack of international opportunities he has received during his career.

Mendes, who turns 30 this week, has just two caps for his country, having been handed his debut in November 2002, but was recalled to the squad by Carlos Queiroz for the World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Denmark last year.

"My last call-up was in September and before that it was five years ago when I was at Vitoria Guimaraes,” he said. "I joined Porto, Spurs and Portsmouth and never had a call then soon after I moved to Rangers I was picked.

"It was good to be back, see old pals and be involved. I don't know why I was recalled all of a sudden. I'd been out for five years so had forgotten about it completely then out of nothing the call came.

"During the main part of my career I was never picked. It's hard to understand. It clearly has nothing to do with the clubs I've played for. I must confess I was frustrated, especially at Porto and Spurs.

"I would see new players getting a chance with Portugal and I wasn't involved. I used to get excited about squads being announced. Then I just forgot about it. I wasn't expecting the call in August. It came before the Celtic game and the two qualifiers were just after the derby."

As for his future prospects with the Seleccao, Mendes admits he is not taking anything for granted. "We have a game against Sweden in March but I'm not getting my hopes up.

"I wasn't included for a friendly against Faroe Islands last August but then got called up for the next month's qualifiers so how can you predict? I just need to give everything for Rangers and reach the Champions League. If you achieve things with your club it will help your international prospects."

By Sean Gillen

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