Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Why is Cristiano Ronaldo not playing in Portugal’s international friendly against Sweden?

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Portugal will play Sweden in a friendly match on Friday at the Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes before it begins its Euro 2024 campaign in June.

Portugal is in Group F along with the Czech Republic, Turkey and one of Georgia, Luxembourg, Greece, and Kazakhstan.

Portugal captain and top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the squad to face Sweden by coach Roberto Martinez. Ronaldo will join Diogo Dalot, Joao Cancelo, Danilo Pereira, Otavio, Ruben Neves, Vitinha and Joao Felix on the list of players left out.

WHY IS RONALDO NOT PLAYING?

According to Martinez, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo was not included in the squad to give him some rest after a hectic Saudi Pro League campaign with Al Nassr.

Martinez however suggested that Ronaldo could be back in the squad for Portugal’s second friendly against Slovenia on March 27.

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Ronaldo has been an integral part of his club Al Nassr, scoring 30 goals and assisting 11 more in 30 appearances this season.

He last featured in Al Nassr’s win over Al-Ahli Saudi, scoring the winner from the penalty spot. Al Nassr is currently second in the Saudi Pro League, 12 points behind league leader Al-Hilal.

Euro 2024 bid

Ronaldo will be an integral part of Portugal’s team in its quest to win the European Championship again, previously winning it in 2016.

Portugal will begin its campaign against the Czech Republic on June 19 at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig.

The 39-year-old has 128 goals and 46 assists in 205 matches for his country and will be looking to add more to his tally.

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