Cristiano Ronaldo has been filmed mocking Arsenal defender Cedric Soares during a Portugal training session ahead of the World Cup qualifier final against North Macedonia. The duo, who have shared the international stage since 2014, face the side who drew the curtains on Italy’s road to Qatar.
The Manchester United striker found the funny side in Cedric leaping for a header during a rondo before imitating the his ‘Ballet’ jump. Mikel Arteta’s right-back has seemingly been providing the entertainment as for Fernando Santos’ side, calming the sides’ nerves ahead of their clash.
Portugal produced a disappointing showing in their World Cup qualifying group, finishing second behind Serbia. As a result, Ronaldo and Cedric dropped into the European play-offs.
Santos relegated the Arsenal defender to the bench in their 3-1 win over Turkey which sent Portugal into the final against either North Macedonia or Italy. The former found a winner against Roberto Mancini’s side in the dying embers to book themselves a ticket against the 2016 European champions for a place in Qatar.
Cedric’s side are heavy favourites to beat North Macedonia in the final qualifier. Ronaldo is confident of making Qatar his tenth consecutive appearance at a major tournament.
“We were surprised,” The United striker said of Italy’s defeat. “North Macedonia has surprised in many matches. But I don’t think they will surprise us tomorrow. Portugal will play better and we will make it to the World Cup.
“We know that if we win we will go to the World Cup and if we lose we are out. We have the responsibility to be positive and win the match. I see everyone well prepared and wanting to be at their best tomorrow.”
However, despite the five-time Balon d’Or winners’ glaring confidence, Cedric could be lucky to find himself on the plane come December. The 30-year-old’s last appearance for Ronaldo’s side came against Serbia – the tie which cost Portugal automatic qualification.