Ronaldo welcomes the return of the "king" to the Portugal squad

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo is very happy for the return of veteran defender Pepe to the squad for the Portuguese national football team, after he missed the team's 3-1 victory over Turkey in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers last Thursday due to his infection with the Corona virus.

As Pepe, 39, left the dressing room, Ronaldo shouted with a smile before training the Portuguese national team in a warm and sunny atmosphere on Sunday morning in Porto, "The king is back.

Bibi is back.

Look.”

The two players hugged and laughed before the start of the warm-up side by side during the penultimate training in preparation for facing North Macedonia in the European qualifying playoff final next Tuesday for a place in the World Cup finals in Qatar.

Ronaldo's feeling reflects the feeling prevailing in the Portuguese national team, which is preparing to host North Macedonia, which blew up a big surprise with a 1-0 victory over Italy in the semi-finals to deprive the Portuguese fans of a major confrontation between the last two European champions.

"Frankly, we all expected to face Italy in the qualifiers final," Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho told a news conference. "Football is different these days and every team can win at this level regardless of the names, numbers and statistics. North Macedonia will do everything possible to defeat us on Tuesday."

Manchester City's Portuguese striker Bernardo Silva told reporters on Sunday, "North Macedonia has won four of the last five matches it played in the World Cup qualifiers. And two of those confrontations were against giant teams like Germany and Italy... and that means a lot. This is a team that plays in a completely offensive way and will press." We have and he will play with great self-confidence. But the pressure is always there .. because it is not about the opponent, it is about qualifying for the World Cup. We must appear in Qatar because we cannot disappoint our fans."

"Our team is full of experienced players who are used to playing crucial matches with the biggest clubs in Europe," Silva added.

We all know what these matches are like and we have to work hard and keep our focus on the goal of going to Qatar.”

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