Cristiano Ronaldo was recalled by the Portuguese national squad on Friday for the first time since last year ’ s World Cup.
The 34 – year – old , who is Portugal’ s most capped player with 154 appearances and all- time leading scorer with 85 goals , had not been included for any games in the second half of last year .
Coach Fernando Santos had initially said that a mutual decision had been made to give Ronaldo a rest following his move from Real Madrid to Juventus but had been ambiguous about the player ’ s future when questioned in November .
Portugal continued to flourish without Ronaldo , winning their Nations League group against Poland and Italy with a game to spare to qualify for the final four – team tournament which the country will host in June .
However , any doubts about his future were removed when Ronaldo ’ s name was among 25 read by Santos during a news conference for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Ukraine and Serbia
“ Cristiano is the best player in the world and is returning to his team , ” said Santos . “ Any team is stronger with him . ”
Portugal host Serbia in Lisbon on March 22 and Ukraine three days later .
( Reuters / NAN)