Cristiano Ronaldo has urged his Portugal teammates to
fight for a place in the World Cup ahead of the make-
or-break qualifiers. Having finished second in their
group in dramatic circumstances, Portugal will now
have to go through the gruelling playoffs.
The Euro 2016 winners will take on Turkey in their
World Cup qualifier on Thursday, March 24 in Porto.
It does not get any easier for Cristiano Ronaldo’s side
as they will have to face either Italy or North
Macedonia if they manage to get past Turkey.
Ronaldo, who is Manchester United’s top scorer this
season with 18 goals despite his advanced age, has
since linked up with his international teammates.
Ahead of the clash, the 37-year old took to Instagram
with a message to teammates.
“Total focus on World Cup 2022,” he started.
“Proud as always to represent Portugal. We know
the road won’t be easy; we have the utmost respect
for opponents we will face and who share the same
goals as us. But together, we will fight to put
Portugal in our rightful place. Let’s do this,” he
Portugal’s Injury Crisis
Fernando Santos’ side is however sweating over the
fitness of several key Portugal players. Portugal are
certain to be without Renato Sanches and Joan
Cancelo as the pair picked up suspensions after being
booked in the 2-1 home defeat against Serbia in
Nelson Semedo, Ruben Dias and Ruben Neves are also
likely to sit out the game with injuries. Neves was the
latest injury addition after picking up a knee injury
during the defeat to Leeds on Friday, March 18.
Worse still, Pepe recently tested positive for COVID-19
but should be available for the second play-off game
should Portugal get past Turkey. That leaves Fernando
Santos’ side without six senior players ahead of