Ronaldo back with Portugal after 9-month absence, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Ronaldo back with Portugal after 9-month absence

Cristiano Ronaldo rejoined his Portugal teammates yesterday ahead of the start of Euro 2020 qualifying this week, following a nine-month absence from the national team.

The 34-year-old Juventus forward was recalled by Portugal coach Fernando Santos for games at home to Ukraine and Serbia, having not played for his country since last year's World Cup.

Ronaldo was rested for the last six Portugal games while he settled at his new club, following his departure from Real Madrid last July.

The reigning European champions, who are through to the Nations League Finals in June, kick off their Group B campaign in Lisbon on Saturday morning (Singapore time) against Ukraine before facing Serbia next week.

"Cristiano adds quality to any team. It's a pleasure to play with him and he's very important for us," said Portugal defender Joao Cancelo, Ronaldo's teammate at Juventus.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo is waiting to see if disciplinary action will be taken against him for his celebration after scoring a hat-trick in Juventus' Champions League 3-0 win against Atletico Madrid last week.

He will face a hearing tomorrow for "improper conduct" after he mimicked Atletico boss Diego Simeone's crotch-grabbing "cojones" gesture. - AFP