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‘World’s best player’ Ronaldo could play against Sweden, says Santos

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
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Fernando Santos believes Cristiano Ronaldo could start for Portugal on Tuesday against Sweden, but hasn’t made a final decision yet.

Ronaldo sat out of Portugal’s 4-1 win over Croatia in the UEFA Nations League due to an infected toe which Santos believes was caused by a bee sting.

The Portuguese Football Federation later announced he took part in training on Sunday morning at the Estadio do Bessa along with the other players who didn’t start against Croatia. Those who played, meanwhile, did recovery work at the team hotel.

Santos reported that Ronaldo did exactly 25 minutes of training that day and felt ‘reasonably well’ afterward. He then headed to Sweden in the afternoon with the rest of the squad.

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Feliz por estar de volta! 🇵🇹💪🏼

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But while the Portugal boss couldn’t guarantee Cristiano will play on Tuesday, he confirmed there are ‘no traces of the toe infection left’.

“We are going to wait and see how he responds this afternoon and we will make a decision,” said Santos on Monday afternoon as quoted on ESPN.

“If in this afternoon’s training session he shows the right conditions, there is a big chance he will [play]. If not, he won’t. Football things are always unpredictable.

“What we know is that there are no traces of the [toe] infection. If he feels well with his boots during this afternoon’s training, then he has a strong chance to start.”

The Juventus star is gunning to become only the second player in history to score 100 international goals after Iran’s Ali Daei.

Ronaldo also has an excellent record against Sweden, having managed five goals and one assist in six games. Therefore, he’ll be confident of reaching the century mark at the Friends Arena.

But while Cristiano offered fans further hope of his participation by sharing images of himself on social media, Santos warned he’ll only play if fit.

“The fact that he is very happy here doesn’t mean that he is going to play,” warned the 65-year-old.

“It doesn’t work like that with me. We are talking about the best player in the world full stop.”

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Preparados para amanhã!🇵🇹💪🏼

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