Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to social media ahead of Portugal’s crucial 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off against Turkey’ as his nation’s hopes of progressing to t’he finals hang in the balance.
Portugal will take on Turkey in a playoff semi-final on Thursday evening before potentially facing Italy or North Macedonia for a spot at the World Cup on March 29.
Portugal finished second behind Serbia in their qualifying group and have been put in a play-off bracket alongside Italy. Portugal must first see off Turkey before a potential final showdown with the Italians for a place in Qatar, should Roberto Mancini's side defeat North Macedonia.
The 37-year-old Portugal captain has sent a rousing message of encouragement to his teammates as they look to qualify for December's Qatar World Cup.
"Total focus on the 2022 World Cup," Ronaldo wrote on Instagram. "Proud, as always, to represent Portugal. We know that the path will not be easy, we have the utmost respect for the adversaries we're going to face and that they have the same goals as us.
"But, together, we'll fight to put Portugal in our rightful place. Let's do this!"
However, Portugal will have to play without a number of their senior men. Both Joao Cancelo and Renato Sanches will miss the Turkey clash after picking up suspensions and they have been joined on the list of absentees by another four high-profile names.