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Match against Racing Santander may be the last one without Cristiano Ronaldo

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Real Madrid will battle Racing Santander on Saturday and some media in Spain report that this could be the last game that Cristiano Ronaldo will miss in his recovery process.

Even when it was made public that his injuried ankle was not improving, Ronaldo might return to full training on Friday, so the talented footbalelr is unlikely to be available before Wednesday's Champions League game against FC Zurich.

After some medical tests, Professor Niek van Dijk - the surgeon who operated on Ronaldo's right ankle in the summer of 2008 - was also consulted by the troubled ankle in Amsterdam a fortnight ago. However, the club did not announce when Cristiano will be fit for his return.

Madrid has a week full of chances to recover morale and points, after being eliminated from the "Copa del Rey" by a third-division team.

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Portugal defeated Bosnia and secured a place in South Africa 2010

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Portugal could not use Cristiano Ronaldo but their 0-1 win over Bosnia was enough to get the ticekt to South Africa 2010. With Real Madrid's super star sidelined by injury, credit for reaching a third consecutive World Cup went to gutsy performances by a Portuguese squad that used even some Brazilian-born footballers.

The talented midfielders Tiago and Meireles had an important role in this victory. In fact, Meireles was the author of the winning goal, scoring at the 55 minute after a superb move by Tiago and Nani.

Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz showed his satisfaction after the games: "Our team spirit has been fantastic, brilliant. This win brought vindication after months of criticism and unflattering comparisons. This was the dream of a lifetime".

Raul Meireles had the time of his life: "I am really satisfied with the goal, but I think the most important thing was our national team and the attitude we showed on a very difficult field, the state of the pitch was terrible and our team was able to overcome that".

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