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Portugal excludes Cristiano Ronaldo from roster of Euro 2016 qualifier


Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo bows his head as he reacts to a play during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Cristiano Ronaldo can be the best player in the world, extremely important to both La Liga giant Real Madrid and his country side, Portugal.

Nonetheless, in the past few months, he’s not been at full fitness consistently.

And his absence in manager Paulo Bento’s final 24-man roster for the 2016 European Championship qualifier against Albania on Sep. 7 may fuel speculation that he’s still not fully recovered from his leg injury.

Bento briefly spoke about the Ronaldo situation in Lisbon: “Regardless of whether he has been playing more or less regularly, at the moment he can’t play.”

Here’s Portugal’s squad without Ronaldo, via the Associated Press.

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Dynamo Zagreb), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Anthony Lopes (Lyon).

Defenders: Joao Pereira (Valencia), Ruben Vezo (Valencia), Andre Almeida (Benfica), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Antunes (Malaga), Ricardo Costa (Al-Sailiya), Neto (Zenit St. Petersburg).

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Adrien Silva (Sporting Lisbon), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Andre Gomes (Valencia), Pedro Tiba (Braga).

Forwards: Nani (Sporting Lisbon), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Bruma (Galatasaray), Eder (Braga), Ivan Cavaleiro (Depeortivo la Coruna), Ricardo Horta (Malaga).