Ronaldo gets his rematch four years after Uruguay knocked his Portugal team out of the World Cup.
The match Monday gives Cristiano Ronaldo a chance to avenge Portugal’s loss in the round of 16 to Uruguay in 2018, even if it doesn’t carry the same stakes.
Uruguay’s 2-1 win in Russia knocked Portugal out of the World Cup, and the most Monday’s group stage match can do for Portugal is advance Ronaldo into the last 16 for the fourth time in his career.
Ronaldo has been at the centre of attention in Qatar, where he arrived for what is expected to be his final World Cup seeking personal and national history.
He became the first player to score in five World Cups in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana in his first match, and very much wants to lead his national team to its first title.
Portugal has never won the World Cup, and Ronaldo has never taken his team past the semifinals.
In his 2006 debut, Portugal lost 3-1 to Germany in the third-place match. Portugal hasn’t been out of the round of 16 since.
Ronaldo scored on a penalty kick in Portugal’s win over Ghana and Portugal has lost just one of its past 13 games in the group stage at the World Cup — a loss to Germany in 2014.
Portugal and Uruguay have played three times prior, but the 2018 meeting was their only match in recent years. Portugal won 3-0 in 1966 and the teams played to a 1-1 draw — both friendlies.
Now it’s a matchup of longtime rivals — Ronaldo from his days playing for Real Madrid against Luis Su?rez from his time at Barcelona.
Uruguay played to a 0-0 draw against South Korea and can’t advance or be eliminated on Monday. But a loss would make Uruguay vulnerable headed into its final group stage match, and although not counted among the favourites, Uruguay is trying to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2010.
Uruguay won the World Cup in 1930 and 1950, but its recent history includes a fourth-place finish in 2010, the round of 16 in 2014 and the quarterfinals four years ago in Russia by beating Portugal.
There are three other matches on for the day.
See Monday’s schedule below:
5:00 am – Cameroon vs Serbia11:00 am – Brazil vs Switzerland
8:00 am – South Korea vs Ghana2:00 pm – Portugal vs Uruguay