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Ronaldo to equal record as Man Utd Portuguese trio discover World Cup fate

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to become only the fifth player to feature at five World Cups after being named in Portugal’s 26-man squad for Qatar.

Meanwhile, Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes will travel to his second finals, with Diogo Dalot making his tournament debut. Many believe this will be Ronaldo’s last appearance at the showpiece event.

An appearance in Qatar will see him join Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Germany’s Lothar Matthaus and Mexicans Antonio Carbajal and Rafael Marquez as players to have featured in five separate World Cups. Ronaldo has scored an all-time international record 117 goals for Portugal, seven of which have come at World Cups.

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He scored four times in Russia four years ago, featuring a hat-trick in Portugal’s tournament opener against Spain, in a contest which finished 3-3. He netted a late free-kick to earn a point for the 2016 European Championship winners.

He has struggled for form at United so far this season, scoring just three goals in all competitions. However, his place in Portugal’s squad was never in doubt.

Fernandes, meanwhile, is one of a crop of midfielders to be included in the squad. He will be hoping to enjoy a more prominent role than he managed in Russia back in the summer of 2018. He featured in just two of their four matches at the tournament, starting once.

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Dalot has fully merited his call-up, proving to be one of United’s most-improved players this season. The former AC Milan loanee has gone from strength to strength under Erik ten Hag and will have aspirations of starting his country’s opener against Ghana on November 24.

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