Portugal’s World Cup play-off against North Macedonia on Tuesday is a “matter of life and death”, said Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the game.
Manchester United star Ronaldo is hoping to qualify for a fifth World Cup with Portugal and secure another chance to lift the trophy for the first time at the age of 37.
The winners of the match in Porto will book a spot at this year’s finals in Qatar.
“The team is quite confident, I feel all the players are ready,” Ronaldo told a press conference on Monday.
“For us, this game is a matter of life and death, we are aware of its importance and I take this opportunity to appeal to the supporters to give us incredible support tomorrow.”
Portugal would have likely been expecting to face Italy in the play-off final, but the European champions slumped to a shock 1-0 home defeat by North Macedonia last week.
The Macedonians also claimed a surprise away victory over Germany earlier in the qualifying campaign.
“We’re playing North Macedonia and of course people think it’s going to be an easier opponent,” admitted Ronaldo.
“From my point of view it’s going to be an extremely tough game because if the Macedonians are here it’s because they deserve to be.