The Real Madrid attacker netted in his club’s Liga-opening win over Cordoba on Monday night but the Seleccao coach says that there is a “question over his fitness”
Portugal boss Paulo Bento has left star man Cristiano Ronaldo out of his squad for the start of the country’s Euro 2016 qualification campaign due to ongoing concerns over the forward’s fitness.
The Real Madrid ace was plagued by thigh and knee problems at the tail end of last season and during this summer’s World Cup in Brazil – but the 29-year-old played all 90 minutes of Monday’s Liga opener against Cordoba, even netting in the dying seconds with a sensational long-range strike.
However, Bento has decided against calling upon the Ballon d’Or holder for the Group I clash with Albania on September 7.
“There’s a question over his fitness,” Bento is quoted as saying by Marca. “Regardless of having played regularly, he can’t compete.”
Ronaldo admitted after being crowned Uefa’s Best Player in Europe for last season in Monte Carlo on Thursday that he had pushed himself to the limit for Madrid last season, meaning he was not in peak physical condition for his country’s World Cup campaign.
However, while the former Manchester United man will not feature in the Seleccao’s meeting with Albania next month, his Madrid colleagues Pepe and Fabio Coentrao have been including in Bento’s 24-strong squad.
Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Dinamo Zagreb), Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyonnais), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon);
Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Vitorino Antunes (Malaga), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Al-Sailiya), Neto (Zenit), Pepe (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Reuben Vezo (Valencia);
Midfielders: Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Andre Gomes (Valencia), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Adrien Silva (Sporting Lisbon), Pedro Tiba (Braga), Miguel Veloso (Dinamo Kiev);
Forwards: Bruma (Galatasaray), Eder (Braga), Ricardo Horta (Malaga), Ivan Cavaleiro (Deportivo La Coruna), Nani (Sporting Lisbon), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg).