Portugal vs Italy, Ronaldo Will not Face for Portugal?

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The European champions are seeking to defend their perfect Nations League record but are again without Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal stand on the brink of reaching the UEFA Nations League finals, but Italy can at least delay their passage through by claiming a victory in Milan when they meet in a Group 3 clash on Saturday.

Ronaldo Absence for Portugal vs Italy. 
Cristiano Ronaldo will not face Italy for Portugal. Ronaldo has not featured for his country since the World Cup, with coach Fernando Santos and the country’s Football Federation affording him a break. Cristiano Ronaldo has been allowed to sit this fixture out. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has not featured since the World Cup.

Fernando Santos admits Portugal miss Cristiano Ronaldo but says his focus is solely on the pressing matter of reaching the Nations League Finals. Juventus star Ronaldo is not expected to feature at international level until March at the earliest, although it appears his self-imposed exile could continue later into 2019.

It remains unclear as to when Juventus star Ronaldo will return to action for Portugal and he is unlikely to feature before March, though his self-imposed exile could continue later into 2019. Nevertheless, the European champions have prospered in Ronaldo’s absence, recording three wins and a draw in the four matches they have played since an underwhelming last-16 World Cup exit to Uruguay.

But Portugal have other extraordinary players in the offensive phase. I believe it will be a spectacular game even without Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s clear that Cristiano Ronaldo would be decisive for any team. He is the best player in the world and therefore you cannot say Portugal are the same team without him.

But Portugal is a good team and they showed they can play and win games even without Cristiano Ronaldo. In the Euro 2016 final, even though he was missing, they beat France. They are a very good team and it won’t be easy for us.

Italy are very strong, especially in quick attacking moves. There's a bright future for this Portugal side and despite this very good performance, Ronaldo is always missed because of his huge quality. The side's confidence is very high and we have high hopes in this competition.

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