Why is Cristiano Ronaldo not playing against Italy?

It's not too unusual for superstars like Ronaldo to be given permission to skip unimportant international games during a busy season.

However, with the introduction of the UEFA Nations League, Ronaldo will miss a competitive game against Roberto Mancini's Italy on Monday, September 10.

Now 33-years-old, it seems the Juventus man is looking to reduce his international game time to preserve what's left of his club career at the top level.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said: "After talking to the player, and after he moved to Juventus with all the processes of adaptation that entails, we understand it was best for him to not be present for these games."

When does Portugal vs Italy kick off?

The game will be played on Monday, September 10.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7.45pm.

It takes place at Lisbon’s 65,000-capacity Estadio da Luz.

The reverse tie will be held on Saturday, November 17 at the San Siro in Milan.