Injured Ronaldo expects to return in one or two weeks, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Injured Ronaldo expects to return in one or two weeks

Cristiano Ronaldo does not think the injury which forced him out of Portugal's 1-1 draw with Serbia yesterday morning (Singapore time) is overly serious and he told reporters he expects to return to action in one or two weeks.

The 34-year-old pulled up after sprinting for the ball and was replaced by midfielder Pizzi with Serbia leading 1-0 through Dusan Tadic's early penalty.

Central midfielder Danilo equalised with a long-range effort in the 42nd minute, but the home side missed a string of chances as they lacked Ronaldo's killer instinct against a rugged Serbian defence.

"I'll know more in 24 or 48 hours," said Ronaldo, who appeared to be pointing towards his right hamstring as he received treatment near the corner flag.

"It happens, it's football.

"If you go out in the rain, you get wet... I'm calm, I'll be back in one or two weeks."

A long absence would be a blow to his club Juventus, who signed Ronaldo last year to boost their chances of winning the Champions League.

Juventus travel to Ajax Amsterdam in their quarter-final, first leg on April 10 with the return fixture six days later.

Both Ronaldo and coach Fernando Santos said the referee had apologised to them for not awarding a penalty to Portugal for handball in the second half.

The referee initially gave the spot-kick but then changed his mind. VAR is not used in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

"It was very clear, the referee should have given it," said Ronaldo.

"The linesman was 40 metres away, so it seems a bit strange."

Santos said: "We saw the incident in the dressing room afterwards and neither we nor he had any doubt - it was a penalty... He apologised."

Despite a second consecutive draw following last week's 0-0 stalemate with Ukraine, the Portuguese star felt that the European champions played well.

He said: "We played quite well and created lots of chances.

"We played better than against Ukraine, but when the ball doesn't want to go in, it simply doesn't go in."

Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic played down the impact of Ronaldo's misfortune as he was quick to point out that his injury-hit side missed several key players.

"As far as whether Portugal missed Ronaldo, you must know that we were missing lots of players - and we do not have a huge selection to choose from, like some countries do," he said.

Portugal next face Switzerland in the four-team Nations League Finals, which they host in June. - REUTERS