- Cristiano Ronaldo opts to skip international duty with Portugal
- The 33-year-old stayed with Juventus to continue his fitness regime
- Ronaldo got a knock on his eye in the Biaconeri's 2-1 win over Parma
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo was nursing a black eye on Wednesday, September 5, as he trained at the club's HQ in Turin.
The 33-year-old who took a knock to his face in last weekend's 2-1 win away to Parma, opted to skip international duty for Portugal this month in a bid to work on his fitness following his absence in pre-season.
While his Portuguese team-mates geared up for the fixtures against Croatia and Italy, Ronaldo was put through his paces alongside Sami Khedira, who was left out of Germany's squad after a disappointing World Cup.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos explained Ronaldo's absence last week.
"After talking to the player, and after he moved to Juventus with all the processes of adaptation that entails, we understand it was best for him to not be present for these games," he said.
The match against Croatia on Thursday is a friendly, while Monday's meeting with Italy is the Selecao's opening fixture in the UEFA Nations League.
CR7's absence from the international scene is expected to be short-lived as he will likely return against Scotland in October and will be seeking to become the most prolific goalscorer in international football history.
The former Real Madrid talisman has scored more international goals than any other European player, but his current mark at 85 leaves him 24 short of the tally set by Iran legend Ali Daei between 1993 and 2006.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had earlier reported that Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has hit back at Lionel Messi’s suggestion that his side are now weaker without Cristiano Ronaldo.
Although Real Madrid failed to replace Ronaldo with another superstar after his £100million move to Juventus this summer but have won their opening three La Liga matches.
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