Portugal news

Cristiano Ronaldo: 'No room for mistakes'

March 25, 2013
By ESPN.com news services

Portugal national team captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who will sit out Portugal's match vs. Azerbaijan due to a yellow card in Saturday's 3-3 draw against Israel, said Portugal faces a must-win situation on Tuesday.

"We can't have any more doubts, nor can we lose or draw any more matches," he said in a video distributed by the Portuguese Football Federation. "We have no margin for error and that is why we have to go onto the pitch with the amibition to win all our matches."

Portugal sits in third place in Group F 2014 World Cup qualifying, tied with Israel for eight points and four points behind Russia, the group leader.

Even though he must sit, Ronaldo made the trip to Baku with the team.

"The national team is my second home. It would have been easiest to return to my club, but I said I wanted to stay because I want to be here and I think my contribution is important -- even when I can't play," he said.

Criticized in Portugal for not playing at the same level as he does when he is with Real Madrid, Ronaldo said he is "body and soul" with the team and "sad" for having received the yellow card against Israel.

"We will continue to fight because mathematically anything is possible and I have a feeling the national team is going to prevail and we will be at the World Cup," he said. "It is a tough challenge, but not impossible."

Information from Efe News Agency was used in this report.