Is Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Portugal against Serbia tonight?

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Vatsal Vora

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to start for Portugal against Serbia in a key FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Sunday. Portugal's game against Serbia will be a straight fight for World Cup qualification.

Both sides are currently level on points, having amassed 17 points apiece from seven games. The winner of this clash will automatically book a place for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while the loser will need to get through the playoffs.

Portugal manager Fernando Santos is expected to name a strong starting XI that will include star forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The 36-year-old forward is hoping to qualify for his fifth FIFA World Cup.

Ronaldo is expected to lead a strong Portugal side against Serbia. The 36-year-old forward will likely partner the likes of Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Jota in attack. Portugal are looking to join Denmark, Germany, France and Belgium in the FIFA World Cup next year.

Portugal are coming into this game after a frustrating goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland, while Serbia beat hosts Qatar 4-0, albeit in a friendly.

The last time Portugal and Serbia played against one another was back in March, a game that ended 2-2. Diogo Jota scored twice that day, with Aleksander Mitrovic and Filip Kostic strikes in the second half earning Serbia a share of the spoils. However, Ronaldo was denied a winner on the night, as the referee wrongly ruled out his strike for offside, leaving the forward incensed.

The stadium that Portugal will play in vs Serbia is the same one Cristiano Ronaldo won the ‘La Decima’ in.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been Portugal's star in their FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification campaign

Cristiano Ronaldo has been Portugal's talisman yet again as the Selecao aim to qualify for their sixth consecutive FIFA World Cup.

The Manchester United forward has scored six goals this campaign, the most by a Portugal player. Ronaldo has scored two more than compatriot and Liverpool forward Diogo Jota.

The two games where Ronaldo shone the most were against the Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg. The 36-year-old forward scored two late goals against Ireland to help Portugal secure a comeback 2-1 win earlier this year.

Ronaldo then scored a hat-trick against Luxembourg. In the process, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner became the first player to score ten hat-tricks in international football.

-Spain-Sweden-Switzerland-Northern Ireland-Armenia-Andorra-Faroe Islands-Lithuania-Lithuania-LuxembourgCristiano Ronaldo's 10 hat tricks for Portugal 🇵🇹🐐

The 36-year-old now has 115 goals in 183 caps for Portugal, a record tally by a male player in international football. The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will possibly be the Euro 2016 winner's last opportunity to win international football's showpiece tournament.

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Edited by Bhargav
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