Portugal will face 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia in their UEFA Nations League Group C game in the City Stadium in Poljud. The defending champions recently faced a home defeat against France over the weekend. The men in Blue defeated the Portuguese squad 1-0 to secure a spot in the final four.
With one game remaining for France in League A-Group 3, Les Bleus could afford to even lose against Sweden at home, given that Didier Deschamps' side is enjoying a superior head-to-head tally over Portugal. On the other hand, the European champions are currently three points behind the world champions.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo is on the pursuit to become the best all-time goalscorer in international football. He is only seven goals away from equalling Iran's Ali Dael's all-time record of 109 international goals.
However, it seems that his national team coach and teammates are not interested in thinking much about what Ronaldo could achieve personally. Portugal coach Fernando Santos said that Ronaldo's chance to create a record in international football would not influence Portugal's gameplan.
According to ESPN, Santos was asked whether his team will play to help Ronaldo achieve his feat. In response, the 66-year old Portuguese said, "No, certainly not, nobody will be thinking about Cristiano. They [other players] will not be thinking about not scoring in order to give the chance to someone else. Even Cristiano wouldn't want that to happen. Cristiano will score when he has to score. They [other players] will not be thinking about that."
The 35-year old Juventus forward missed his national side's 3-0 victory over Sweden last month due to his positive coronavirus diagnosis. However, he has returned to the field and scored in Portugal's 7-0 triumph over Andorra last week.
In the meantime, La Liga president Javier Tebas has claimed that The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's arrival in Serie A with Juventus was "barely noticed."
The newly-appointed president seems to be in a defensive stance with both Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos being linked with potential exits from the Spanish League within the next 12 months. Before that, Ronaldo and Neymar both departed from La Liga in recent years.
Now if Messi and Ramos also decide to bid farewell to the league where they played for so long, it will definitely hurt the league's popularity and profitability.