The 36-year-old will not remain with his national team after picking up a booking for taking his shirt off against Ireland
New Manchester United signing Cristiano Ronaldo has been granted an early release from international duty, Portugal confirmed on Thursday.
The striker, 36, is yet to feature for the Red Devils after moving back from Juventus for a second spell at Old Trafford last week.
But he will now have extra time to prepare for his return to the Premier League due to the yellow card he picked up against Ireland.
What was said?
“Cristiano Ronaldo was excused from his stay with the national team on Thursday,” the Portuguese Football Federation explained in a statement.
“The yellow card he saw against Ireland, as it was the second in this qualifying phase, forces him to serve a one-match suspension, which will take place against Azerbaijan.
“This morning, the national team captain formed part of the group of players who carried out regenerative exercises in the hotel.”
Ronaldo endured a frustrating evening against Ireland, missing an early chance to take the lead from the penalty spot.
The visitors took full advantage and led for almost the entire second half following John Egan’s strike just before the break.
Just when it looked like the Boys in Green would be taking a famous victory, however, the United star sprung into action.
Two headers in the dying minutes changed the course of the game and gave Portugal their third win of the qualifying campaign, consolidating their position at the top of Group A.
His first goal, moreover, put him clear as the highest scorer in men’s international history.
But the forward paid a stiff price for celebrating his 96th-minute winner, picking up a yellow for removing his shirt and ruling himself out of contention for Tuesday’s visit to Azerbaijan.
The upshot, of course, is that Ronaldo will have more than a week to prepare for his second United ‘debut’, with the Reds returning to action in the Premier League on September 11 against Newcastle United.