Cristiano Ronaldo was filmed mocking Arsenal defender Cedric Soares during a training session in Portugal ahead of the World Cup qualifier final against North Macedonia. The duo, who have shared the international stage since 2014, take on the team that pulled back the curtain on Italy’s route to Qatar.
The Manchester United striker found the fun side of Cedric jumping for a header during a rondo before imitating his ‘Ballet’ leap. Right-back Mikel Arteta has seemingly provided the entertainment as to Fernando Santos’ side, calming the sides nerves ahead of their clash.
Portugal produced a disappointing performance in their World Cup qualifying group, finishing second behind Serbia. As a result, Ronaldo and Cedric have dropped out in the European play-offs.
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Santos relegated the Arsenal defender to the bench in their 3-1 win over Turkey, which sent Portugal into the final against North Macedonia or Italy. The former found a winner against Roberto Mancini’s side in the dying embers to book a ticket against the 2016 European champions for a place in Qatar.
Cedric’s side are the heavy favorites to beat North Macedonia in the final qualifying game. Ronaldo is confident of making Qatar their tenth consecutive major tournament appearance.
“We were surprised,” the United striker said of the Italy loss. “North Macedonia surprised in many matches. But I don’t think they will surprise us tomorrow. Portugal will play better and we will get to the World Cup.
“We know that if we win we will go to the World Cup and if we lose we are eliminated. We have a responsibility to be positive and to win the match. I see that everyone is well prepared and wants to be at its best tomorrow.
However, despite the blatant confidence of the five-time Balon d’Or winners, Cedric could be lucky enough to find himself on the plane in December. The 30-year-old’s last appearance for Ronaldo’s side came against Serbia – the draw that cost Portugal automatic qualification.