The Juventus superstar, who scored a spectacular hat-trick to overturn a two goal deficit against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League, was allowed to miss the international get-together in September plus the matches in October and November, as he settled into life at his new club.
Portugal did not suffer without him, going undefeated as they recorded three wins in six matches, qualifying for the UEFA Nations League Finals in the process.
With the EURO 2020 qualifying campaign set to start, Ronaldo is back. Tonight the Seleção face Ukraine and on Monday Serbia provide the opposition with both games being played at Lisbon’s Estádio da Luz.
Coach Fernando Santos has also selected two uncapped forwards in Benfica teenager prodigy João Felix and SC Braga’s Brazilian-born Dyego Sousa.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, who reached the English FA Cup semi-finals last weekend at the expense of Manchester United, provide four of the squad equal with Benfica who also have a quartet in the twenty-six man squad.
Wolves are having a tremendous first season back in the Premier League and have only used nineteen players, a fitting tribute to the backroom fitness staff including Rehabilitation Coach João Lapa who was born in Tavira and spent time working with SC Olhanense. Only eight of the international squad play their football in Portugal.
Portugal squad: Beto (Goztepe, Turkey), José Sá (Olympiacos, Greece), Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton Wanderers); João Cancelo (Juventus), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona), Jose Fonte (Lille), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Benfica), Mário Rui (Napoli), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund); Danilo Pereira (Porto), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), William Carvalho (Real Betis), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), João Mario (Inter Milan), Joao Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Pizzi (Benfica); Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Andre Silva (Sevilla, on loan from AC Milan), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dyego Sousa (SC Braga), João Felix (Benfica).