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Portugal confirm Ronaldo will be called up for Nations League finals

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
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Portugal manager Fernando Santos dismissed fears Cristiano Ronaldo won’t participate in the UEFA Nations League finals this summer.

Prior to the international break in March, Portugal had been without Ronaldo since last summer’s World Cup last-16 exit to Uruguay.

The 34-year-old confirmed in January that he had agreed to sit out of Portugal’s international fixtures during the first half of the season to settle in at Juventus after completing a €112m transfer from Real Madrid.

Even without Ronaldo, however, the European champions still managed to book a semi-final spot in the inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament, which will be hosted in Portugal itself.

Boosting their chances of glory in front of their supporters was the return of Ronaldo during the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Although, the Juventus star’s comeback ended with a hamstring injury during the second game against Serbia.

Therefore, Portugal fans had feared Ronaldo would not be a part of the national team for the Nations League finals.

But Santos has reassured everybody he will be calling star man Ronaldo this summer.

“Yes, CR7 will certainly be in the squad that I will name on May 23,” Santos told Sport TV.

“His absence during the group stage, which has already been explained, was totally legitimate and understandable.”

Ronaldo has managed a record 85 goals and 37 assists in 156 appearances at international level.

While Portugal, who finished top of Group A3 in qualifying, will face Switzerland on June 5 for their semi-final clash at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.

In other Nations League semi-final encounter, the Netherlands and England will meet at Guimaraes on June 6.

Portugal v France - Final: UEFA Euro 2016
PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 10: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal (c) lifts the Henri Delaunay trophy after his side win 1-0 against France during the UEFA EURO 2016 Final match between Portugal and France at Stade de France on July 10, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)