Ronaldo escapes UEFA ban for celebration in Juventus win over Atletico Madrid


Reigning champions Portugal were held to a frustrating goalless draw in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Ukraine as Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the side.

The pressure is on Portugal to qualify and defend their title, but with Serbia also in Group B - and Ukraine proving their worth - that task is sure to be a hard one.

Both men have missed six global matches since the World Cup.

The 34-year-old has scored 85 goals in 154 global games and could also play in Portugal's game in Serbia on 25 March.

"The team had some good moments and some hard moments, we failed to take three or four chances in the first half", said Portugal coach Fernando Santos, whose side have a tough match at home to Serbia on Monday.

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Juventus' games will "mostly likely be in China and Singapore", where they will be joined by Premier League teams Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, the New York Times said. Manchester United and Tottenham, who have played in the US and in Europe in past tournaments, will also play in Asia this summer.

Messi, 31, has scored 65 goals in 128 worldwide appearances and, while he is set to play at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Chelsea's Gonzalo Higuain and Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi are not in the squad.

The news Messi has ended his self-imposed exile from global football also pleased Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel.

"Cristiano is the best player in the world who is returning to his team", Santos said.

The 34-year-old forward, who had just joined Juventus in the summer of 2018 in a €100m transfer after nine seasons at the Spanish League club, stayed in Turin last August to train while Juve took part in the 2018 USA tournament.