Belfast Telegraph

Monday 26 January 2015

Ronaldo will captain Portugal at Windsor Park despite injury scare

Paul Bento admits Northern Ireland look strong after Russia victory

Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain Cristiano Ronaldo trains with his team. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain Cristiano Ronaldo trains with his team. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo trains with his team at Windsor Park
The Portugal squad at a training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Nani during this evenings Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Portugal Manager Paulo Bento holds a press conference after training at Windsor Park, ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Ronaldo during Thursday's Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Raul Meireles during Thursday's Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain, Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Ronaldo during this evenings Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain, Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain, Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Raul Meireles during Thursday's Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain, Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Nani during Thursday's Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Nani during Thursday's Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain, Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Ronaldo during this evenings Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Fabio Coentrao during Thursday's Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Ronaldo during this evenings Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Ronaldo during this evenings Portugal squad training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Friday evening. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain, Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Portugal train at Windsor Park ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday night. Real Madrid star and Portugal's captain, Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Ronaldo touches down in Belfast ahead of Portugal's clash with Northern Ireland. Pic Brian Little/Presseye
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park. Fans Peter Mooney (left) and Martin Ramsey
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-5th September 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye Portugal's Chistiano Ronaldo arrives with his team at Belfast International Airport ahead of Friday night's World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.
©Russell Pritchard 5th September 2013 The Portugal team arrive in Belfast today ahead of their World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland Manchester Uniteds Nani ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th September 2013 The Portugal team arrive in Belfast today ahead of their World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland Real Madrids Christiano Ronaldo ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th September 2013 The Portugal team arrive in Belfast today ahead of their Worl Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland Real Madrids Christiano Ronaldo ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th September 2013 The Portugal team arrive in Belfast today ahead of their Worl Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland Real Madrids Christiano Ronaldo ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th September 2013 The Portugal team arrive in Belfast today ahead of their Worl Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland Real Madrids Christiano Ronaldo ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th September 2013 The Portugal team arrive in Belfast today ahead of their World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland Manchester Uniteds Nani ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th September 2013 The Portugal team arrive in Belfast today ahead of their Worl Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland Real Madrids Christiano Ronaldo ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Russell Pritchard 5th September 2013 The Portugal team arrive in Belfast today ahead of their World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland Real Madrids Christiano Ronaldo ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Cristiano Ronaldo will face Northern Ireland on Friday night, despite an injury scare. 

The Real Madrid superstar will captain Portugal in the World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.

"Yes, provided nothing abnormal occurs between now and tomorrow I believe he will be fit to play," said Portugal coach Paulo Bento at a press conference in Belfast on Thursday.

Northern Ireland go into the game boosted by last month's 1-0 win over Russia and that result has Bento on his guard.

"Northern Ireland beating Russia was a warning to us," he said.

"We knew that this match was going to be tough, but the last match and the way that Northern Ireland beat Russia showed that they are really a strong squad and we have to be aware of what they can do."

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