World Cup 2010 Qualifying: Portugal vs. Malta

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Portugal vs. Malta is probably biggest World Cup qualifying match this day in Europe. And tons of Cristiano Ronaldo fans will be rooting for a Portugal win to ensure a play-off spot for next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Malta is currently the 140th ranked team in FIFA’s World Rankings. The Knights of St. John have not scored a single goal against the Seleccao for 22 years, and have conceded 22 goals in just nine games.

Unfortunately, CR9 will not be linking up with the Portuguese squad after he aggravated an ankle injury in their last match against Hungary.

But the Real Madrid forward has sent a message of support to his team-mates ahead of their game.

“I want you to know that my heart will be with you at every minute of the match and that, like all the Portuguese, I will be proud of your efforts,” he said in a message on Madrid’s official website.

The match kicks-off at 8:45 p.m. CET (2:45 p.m. ET).

UPDATE: CR9 was handed the chance to play in South Africa when Portugal completed the first stage of their unlikely qualification revival, crushing Malta 4-0 to secure a spot in the World Cup play-offs.

Goals from Nani, Simao Sabrosa, Miguel Veloso and Edinho made it a comfortable evening for the Seleccao in Guimaraes.