Cristiano Ronaldo STARTS for Portugal in their final Group H clash against South Korea after missing training this week, as Fernando Santos rotates his side with just one point needed to seal top-spot
- Cristiano Ronaldo is starting for Portugal in their clash against South Korea
- He missed training in the build-up to Portugal’s final group stage game
- Portugal need only a point to secure their place as Group H winners today
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the starting lineup for Portugal’s final Group H encounter against South Korea after missing training in the build-up to the clash.
Portugal have made a perfect start to their World Cup campaign, with victories over Ghana and Uruguay sealing qualification for the knockouts with a game to spare.
Fernando Santos’ side need just one point to guarantee top-spot in the group, while Ghana, South Korea and Uruguay remain in a fierce battle for the remaining place in the knockout stages.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the team for Portugal’s final Group H encounter against South Korea
Ronaldo’s inclusion in the team comes after the 37-year-old trained in the gym alone on Wednesday, before Santos a day later admitted his star man could miss the game.
The veteran, who is now without a club following his bombshell exit from Manchester United, was again in the spotlight after it emerged he did not get a touch to Bruno Fernandes’ cross in Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay, despite claiming the goal for himself.
Ronaldo has since taken centre stage once more, following reports stating he has ‘agreed’ a £173million-per-year deal with Saudi side Al Nassr.
The forward has been substituted off in both of Portugal’s wins in Qatar, but he’ll get another opportunity to shine from the off today.
Ronaldo has been substituted off in both of Portugal’s group stage games so far in Qatar
Santos on Thursday insisted Portugal already had a plan in place should Ronaldo be unavailable, but that plan has not yet been needed.
Meanwhile, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix have all been dropped to the bench for the clash.
In come Diogo Dalot, Antonio Silva, Mateus Nunes, Vitinha, Joao Mario and Ricardo Horta.
Confirmed XI: Diogo Costa, Dalot, Pepe, Antonio Silva, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes, Vitinha, Joao Mario, Ricardo Horta, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Confirmed South Korea XI: Seung-Gyu Kim, Moon-Hwan Kim, Kyung-Won Kwon, Young-Gwon Kim, Jin-Su Kim, Jung, In-Beom Hwang, Kang-In Lee, Jae-Sung Lee, Heung-Min Son, Gue-Sung Cho.
Portugal need only a point to take top spot in Group H, while Ghana, South Korea and Uruguay are all still battling for a place in the knockouts
Fernando Santos has opted to rotate his side with Portugal already through to the knockouts
Midfielder Bruno Fernandes is among those to have dropped out of the starting XI for the clash
Portugal, as stated, need only a point to confirm their place as Group H winners – and in doing so, they would play the runner-up from Group G, which is Switzerland as things stand. The match would take place on Tuesday, December 6 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, with kick-off at 7pm.
Should the improbable happen and Portugal finish in second, they would play against the Group G winners, currently Brazil, on Monday, December 5 at Stadium 974, with kick-off again at 7pm.
Group G will be concluded tonight, with Cameroon taking on Brazil and Serbia playing Switzerland.
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