Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Portugal squad for first time since World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in the Portugal squad after an eight-and-a-half-month absence, the team announced on Friday.

Ronaldo has not, at his own request, played for the defending European champions since a 2-1 loss to Uruguay in last 16 of the World Cup on June 30, 2018.

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Portugal coach Fernando Santos’ side face a Euro 2020 Group B qualifier against Ukraine on March 22 before they play Serbia three days later, with both matches being staged at Lisbon’s Estadio da Luz.

Ronaldo moved to Juventus last summer from Real Madrid in a €100m transfer and has scored 24 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions, including a hat trick in Wednesday’s 3-0 home triumph over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

The result gave the Italian giants a 3-2 win and clinched their place in the quarterfinals, where they will face Ajax.

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