Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo insisted Portugal were in the “right place” after his country secured their place in the 2022 World Cup.
After Italy’s surprise loss to North Macedonia last week, which denied them participation in Qatar, Portugal wanted to avoid approaching the same fate.
The Portuguese defeated Turkey 3-1 Thursday to face North Macedonia tonight. Bruno Fernandes’ double secured a 2-0 win and qualification for this year’s World Cup.
The goal has been achieved, we are in the Qatar World Cup, we are in our place! Ronaldo posted on Instagram.
“Thank you to all the Portuguese for their tireless support! The strength of Portugal!” he added.
Portugal’s victory means they have qualified for the World Cup for the sixth time in a row, and Ronaldo, 37, now appears set to go to the tournament for the fifth and possibly final time when it starts in November.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos has already led his team to glory at Euro 2016 and 2019, and is now hoping to add to his impressive World Cup record.
“I have already won two tournaments and I hope to be able to win the third in Qatar.”
“There was a spirit of mutual help and great support from the public.
It was a deserved and fair win and qualification. “I don’t remember any great goal-scoring situations for their team,” he said.
Portugal will likely be among the top seed when the official draw for the World Cup takes place on Friday.
While the likes of Ronaldo and Fernandes led their side to tonight’s opening group win, the latter insisted his country’s qualification was the most important factor.
“The most important thing is for Portugal to win,” Fernandez said.
“Everyone has ambition, Cristiano and I are no exception. He usually scores goals and helps, but today it was the opposite.
“For me, the most important thing is to help the team, if possible by scoring goals. Of course, we all love to score in every match, whether it is the most important or the least important one.
“I keep our coach’s thoughts in mind and maybe that’s why I scored this double, doing what the coach asks me to do,” he said.