Ronaldo dodges suggestions he was booked deliberately against Israel

The Real Madrid attacker will miss Portugal's final World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg after picking up a caution on Friday night, granting him a clean slate for the play-offs
Cristiano Ronaldo has refused to reveal whether or not he got himself deliberately booked in Portugal's 1-1 draw with Israel in a bid to ensure his availability for the Seleccao's impending World Cup play-off.

The result, coupled with Russia's 4-0 win over Luxembourg, means Portugal, currently three points behind Fabio Capello's men, are all but certain to miss out on automatic qualification from Group F and are likely to feature in the play-offs.

Ronaldo was booked late on in the game in Lisbon for dissent, leading to speculation that he may have picked up a yellow card on purpose so he could miss his country's final group qualifier against Luxembourg on Tuesday.

However, the Real Madrid star has denied he deliberately earned a caution so he could take a clean disciplinary record into the play-offs.

"Fifa is always very attentive to those situations," said the 28-year-old.

"The play-off is the most important and I don't want to be out. I will be at those two matches."

When asked about potential opponents in the play-offs, Ronaldo highlighted France - who look set to finish second behind Spain in Group I - as the main threat.

"France are the strongest we may face," he continued. They are the only ones I do not want to face."