LISBON: Cristiano Ronaldo was named in the Portugal squad Thursday after recovering from a knee injury that wrecked his Euro 2016 final and is expected to start in the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and the Faroe Islands.
The European champions need the Real Madrid forward to start firing immediately after they suffered a 2-0 away defeat to Switzerland earlier this month to sit bottom of Group B after one game.
“This group is stronger of course with Cristiano Ronaldo in it, but also because all the other players have had more playing time (since the early season loss),” coach Fernando Santos said.
Ronaldo, 31, missed the beginning of the La Liga season after two months out but scored minutes after returning to action.
However, he was left fuming last weekend after Real coach Zinedine Zidane subbed him for the final 20 minutes of the 2-2 Spanish league draw at Las Palmas.
Key midfielders Renato Sanches of Bayern Munich and Andre Gomes of Barcelona, as well as goalkeeper Anthony Lopes (Lyon), all return after they were forced to pull out of the Switzerland clash with injury.
Portugal host Andorra on October 7 and travel to the Faroe Islands three days later.
Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Anthony Lopes (Lyon/FRA), Marafona (Braga);
Defenders: Antunes (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Bruno Alves (Cagliari/ITA), Cedric Soares (Southampton/ENG), Jose Fonte (Southampton/ENG), Joao Cancelo (Valencia/ESP), Pepe (Real Madrid/ESP), Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund/GER);
Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Sporting), William Carvalho (Sporting), Andre Gomes (Barcelona/ESP), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Joao Mario (Inter Milan/ITA), Joao Moutinho (Monaco/FRA), Renato Sanches (Bayern/GER)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/ESP), Andre Silva (FC Porto), Bernardo Silva (Monaco/FRA), Eder (Lille/FRA), Gelson Martins (Sporting), Nani (Valencia/ESP), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas/TUR)