Lisbon (AFP)

Cristiano Ronaldo participated on Tuesday in the first training of the Portugal team to prepare the last two qualifying matches for the Euro-2020, while the reigning European champions are lessened by a series of injuries.

The last to declare a forfeit for the matches against Lithuania Thursday and Luxembourg Sunday, Joao Mario was dispensed without being replaced, said the Portuguese federation Monday night.

The Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder's injury is in addition to the plans announced the day before by defenders Pepe and Nelson Semedo, replaced by debutant Domingos Duarte and Manchester City player Joao Cancelo respectively.

Other regulars on the lists of coach Fernando Santos as William Carvalho, Joao Felix, Gonçalo Guedes, Rafa Silva and André Gomes will also be absent from injury for these two crucial matches while Portugal is only one point ahead of Serbia, still in the race for qualification in a group B dominated by Ukraine.

The five-time Golden Ball Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, trained on Tuesday while his Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri had mentioned a "knee problem" to explain his replacement this weekend when 'a Serie A match

The captain of the Portugal team had left the pitch before the hour of play and the television footage had shown him gloomy look, let loose a few words in the direction of the bench of Juventus, before returning directly to the locker room to give way his place to Paulo Dybala, author of the goal of victory against AC Milan (1-0).

According to the Italian Sky channel, Cristiano Ronaldo had already left the stadium a few minutes before the final whistle.

© 2019 AFP