Manchester United have been handed a boost with Cristiano Ronaldo being suspended for Portugal’s World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan next week.
The 36-year-old was in action against Republic of Ireland last night. He produced some late heroics as Portugal sealed a 2-1 comeback win in Algarve.
His equaliser in the 89th minute saw him create history as he became the highest goalscorer in men’s international football.
Ronaldo went on to bag the winner in the dying seconds of injury time. He was obviously overjoyed as he took off his shirt in the wild celebrations.
That has come at a cost for him and Portugal after he was handed a yellow card for the second occasion in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
That constitutes an automatic one-match ban. Ronaldo won’t feature in the qualifier next week, but could be involved in the Qatar friendly on Saturday.
Earlier this year, Bruno Fernandes was sent back early to United by Portugal head coach Fernando Santos as he was serving a one-match suspension.
A similar repeat could be on the cards with Ronaldo. His return would offer him sufficient time to rest and prepare for his second debut later this month.
He is braced to make his second homecoming against Newcastle United on September 11. The chances are high that he could be picked from the start.
Ronaldo has shown strong commitment towards Portugal. He was encouraging his teammates from the sidelines during the memorable 2016 European Championship final.
It won’t come as a surprise if he decides to stay with the squad to motivate them rather than reporting early to United.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com