The Portugal vs Algeria friendly will mark 12 days since Cristiano Ronaldo last played a full match…
In the camp of the Seleccao, the puzzle is complete. The last piece was skipper Ronaldo who joined his 22 teammates on Monday following a short vacation with his partner, Georgina Rodriguez.
With his new shaved haircut and a grin on his face, the 33-year-old Madrid-based superstar’s presence at the training ground has uplifted the mood in the national team and boosted supporters’ hopes for a win after two consecutive draws against Tunisia and Belgium. On Thursday, he will guide the Portuguese against Riyad Mahrez and the Algerians.
“Cristiano Ronaldo will play from the start tomorrow,” Fernando Santos confirmed during Wednesday’s press conference.
The manager added:
“You can’t infer that the starting XI against Algeria will be the XI against Spain. I still have doubts about who will play against Spain, and there are 5 days of training still to go.”
Portugal vs Algeria will see the captain earn his 150th cap for the European champions. Despite the encounter being a friendly, a heroic performance similar to the one he displayed when his brace downed Egypt 2-1 earlier this year would be very much welcomed by the home crowd at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
Cristiano Ronaldo has kept a 1-goal-per-match record for his country over the past three years. That is, 13 goals in 13 games in 2016; 11 goals in 11 games in 2017; and two goals in two matches this year.
Ready ??? pic.twitter.com/8jwT3lbaAl
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) June 6, 2018