Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo believes that the team can still reach the next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Portugal was stunned by Serbia 2-1 at home on Sunday night as they were relegated to a playoff that will be held next year with 11 other nations. With that win, Serbia qualified for the showpiece event in Qatar.
“Football has shown us time and again that sometimes the most difficult paths are the ones that lead us to the most desired outcomes,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram in Portuguese on Monday.
The 36-year-old veteran could be facing his last World Cup after making four straight appearances in the tournament since 2006.
“Yesterday’s result was tough, but not tough enough to get us down,” he added. “The goal of being in the 2022 World Cup is still very much alive and we know what we have to do to get there. No excuses. Portugal on its way to Qatar,” the Manchester United forward reflected.
Portugal enjoyed a dream start as the home team opened the scoring after just two minutes through Renato Sanches. However, Serbia bounced back and levelled with Dusan Tadic’s strike.
Aleksandar Mitrovic then grabbed the vital goal as stoppage time approached and gave the visitors a memorable win. Portugal will now have to go through playoffs for the place in the next year’s showpiece.