Fernandes and Ronaldo send messages ahead of World Cup play-off clash
Manchester United duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes have posted on social media ahead of Portugal’s crucial World Cup play-off clash.
Neither of the Red Devils’ influential pair took to social media after Ralf Rangnick’s side crashed out of the Champions League to Atletico Madrid last week.
With United’s clash against Liverpool, which was due to be played on Sunday, being rescheduled due to Jurgen Klopp side’s involvement in the FA Cup, this has given Ronaldo, Fernandes and Diogo Dalot extra rest ahead of their quest to qualify for Qatar.
Fernando Santos’ side host Turkey at the Estadio de Dragao on Thursday night in a European World Cup play-off semi-final.
If Santos’ men manage to pass what is likely to be a tough examination from Stefan Kuntz’s Turkey side, a potential blockbuster final against European Champions Italy could be on the cards.
Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri host North Macedonia in their semi-final clash.
It means that this winter’s World Cup is guaranteed to be missing a household name in either Portugal and Italy.
Ronaldo believes that he can play for another three or four years and you wouldn’t rule him out making the 2026 World Cup, which will be held across Canada, Mexico and United States.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner continues to break records at the age of 37 and recently became FIFA’s all-time top goalscorer after his hat-trick against Tottenham took him to 807 career goals for club and country.
Qualifying for Qatar would mean that Ronaldo would be playing in his fifth World Cup. Only four other players have managed to achieve that feat (Antonio Carbajal and Rafael Marquez – both Mexico, Lothar Matthaus – Germany and Gianluigi Buffon – Italy).
Ronaldo’s Instagram post translates: “Total focus on World Cup 2022. Proud as always to represent Portugal.
“We know the road won’t be easy, we have the utmost respect for the 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.”
Fernandes’ post translates: “On the way back home. Now more than ever, we all need to be united.
“We’ll do everything to get to the World Cup. Let’s go.”