23/03/2022 14:23:54 PM Rajan Kumar Singh 215
Cristiano Ronaldo's last World Cup participation is still in doubt as Portugal will face Turkey in the World Cup playoff semi-final on Thursday (March 24). The World Cup qualification match will be a knock-out fixture and winners will either face Italy or North Macedonia. The Manchester United striker and his teammates joined the Portugal training camp at Oeiras, Lisbon on Monday (March 21).
Senior defender Pepe will miss the World Cup playoff semi-final on Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19, the Portuguese Football Federation confirmed. The 39-year-old's absence means the former European champions will be without their two first-choice centre backs for the clash at Porto, with Ruben Dias ruled out due to a hamstring injury.
Injuries in the Portugal squad can result into a heart-break for Ronaldo and football fans around the globe, as a loss against Turkey will confirm a FIFA World Cup without Cristiano Ronaldo.
Head coach Fernando Santos has called up Lille defender Tiago Djalo as a replacement for Pepe. The winners of the match will face either Italy or North Macedonia five days later in a game that will determine one of the last three spots left for European teams at Qatar 2022, which kicks off in November.