LISBON: Cristiano Ronaldo will not be fit in time for Portugal’s opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Albania on September 7, national coach Paulo Bento said Friday.
Bento said that their medical team decided that the 29-year-old Real Madrid player was “not fit to compete”.
Bento declined to elaborate on the concerns over the player who has been hampered by a nagging left knee injury and right thigh muscle problem in recent months.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti dropped Ronaldo to the bench for his side’s Spanish Super Cup second leg against Atletico Madrid last week because of a hamstring problem.
Ronaldo was on Thursday named European Footballer of the Year by UEFA, after winning the Ballon d’Or eight months ago.
He broke the record for goals, 17, by a player in a Champions League campaign last season as Madrid claimed their tenth European title.
But hampered by his injuries he failed to impress during Portugal’s World Cup campaign as they went out in the first round.
Portugal plays their first Euro 2016 qualifier at home against Albania on September 7 in the northern town of Aveiro. They are in Group I, which also features Armenia, Denmark and Serbia.