‘Fight to put Portugal in our rightful place’ – Man Utd ace Cristiano Ronaldo inspires squad ahead of World Cup play-off
CRISTIANO RONALDO has issued a battle cry to his Portugal team-mates ahead of their World Cup play-off clash this week.
Portugal made their route into the winter World Cup difficult after a shock 2-1 loss in the group stages to Serbia saw them finish in second spot.
And now Ronaldo and his compatriots will first have to get past Turkey in the play-offs on Thursday to have any chance of competing in the Qatar World Cup later this year.
Then Fernando Santos' side need to dispose of the winners of the other play-off clash between Italy and North Macedonia five days later to earn a spot amongst football's elite on the world stage.
But Ronaldo's laser-focused on helping Portugal secure their position in the World Cup which he feels is his homeland's rightful place to be.
Speaking on Instagram, he said: "Total focus on the 2022 World Cup. 'Proud, as always, to represent Portugal.
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"We know that the path will not 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 its rightful place. Let's do it."
If Portugal come unstuck in the play-offs, it will be the first time they've failed to get into the competition since 1998.
The 2016 European Champions will be counting on Ronaldo to put on the scoring boots that saw him score a hat-trick in Man United's 3-2 win over Tottenham earlier this month.