André Gomes: "Cristiano Ronaldo is a great example for us all"

The Barcelona midfielder also praised Portugal's “group spirit” ahead of the national team's first World Cup qualifier against Switzerland.
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André Gomes: "Cristiano Ronaldo is a great example for us all"

Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes says that Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo remains “a great example for us all” despite his continued absence due to a knee injury.

Cristiano "a very important player for Portugal" despite absence

Though Cristiano is still yet to recover fully from the knock that forced him off during the Euro 2016 final last month and has not been called up to the Portugal squad for the fixtures against Gibraltar and Switzerland, Gomes reiterated that the national captain remains “a very important player, who’s always here and keen to play.” The midfielder told the press that in spite of Cristiano’s absence the squad would fight with the same “group spirit” that won them this year’s European Championship.

Portugal's World Cup 2018 campaign gets underway next week

Fernando Santos’ men are currently training in the town of Oeiras just outside of Lisbon ahead of a friendly with Gibraltar in Porto on Thursday night and their first World Cup 2018 qualifier against Switzerland next Tuesday in Basle. Gomes said that the sooner the squad can secure qualification the better and that the team would play this week “fully aware of the responsibilities attached to representing our country.”

André Gomes training with Ricardo Quaresma ahead of next week's qualifier in Switzerland.

“We’re going to enjoy playing with the national team and to give everything we have with the same team spirit,” added the Barcelona player, who secured a move to the Camp Nou worth an initial €35 million last month.