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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 14 August, 2020

After a nine-month absence from international football, Ronaldo recalled to Portugal squad

It’s the first time the Juventus superstar has been named since the 2018 World Cup.

The 34-year-old's last game for Portugal was the defeat to Uruguay at the World Cup.
The 34-year-old's last game for Portugal was the defeat to Uruguay at the World Cup.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

CRISTIANO RONALDO HAS returned to the Portugal squad for the first time since the 2018 World Cup.

The Juventus star missed out on Portugal’s entire Nations League campaign, having not featured since their last-16 loss to Uruguay in Russia.

It is also his first involvement since accusations of rape from a woman in Las Vegas — relating to an alleged incident in 2009 — were reported by Der Spiegel in September. He continues to strongly deny the claims. 

In total, Ronaldo missed six international matches, but Portugal fared well enough as they won their Nations League group to advance to the tournament’s finals on home soil.

Once there, they will face Switzerland on 5 June in Porto, with the winner of that match to take on the winner of the Netherlands’ battle with England four days later in the tournament finale.

Before that, though, Portugal face Euro 2020 qualifiers in the upcoming international window as they take on Ukraine at home before also playing host to Serbia.

They’ll face off with Ukraine on March 22 in Lisbon before Serbia visit Estadio de Luz on 25 March.

Joining Ronaldo as part of Fernando Santos’ team are a number of in-form stars, including Bernardo Silva, Goncalo Guedes and Joao Cancelo. Ronaldo and Cancelo have helped guide Juventus to the Champions League quarter-finals, where they will take on Ajax, while also leading Serie A by a total of 18 points.

Silva’s Manchester City, meanwhile, lead the Premier League in a tight battle with Liverpool and have also sealed a quarter-final birth against fellow Premier League rivals Tottenham.

Veterans Pepe and Jose Fonte lead the defence, which also includes Barcelona’s Nelson Semedo, Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro and Napoli’s Mario Rui.

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Portugal squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio, Beto, Jose Sa Defenders: Joao Cancelo, Nelson Semedo, Jose Fonte, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Mario Rui

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira , Ruben Neves, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Mario, Joa Moutinho, Pizzi

Forwards: Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Goncalo Guedes, Rafa Silva, Andre Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Dyego Sousa

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey on The42 Rugby Weekly as Ireland bid to spoil Wales’ Grand Slam party in Cardiff, and the U20s target their own piece of history.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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