Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Portugal sees Ronaldo fully focused on Confederations Cup

Clarence Duncan | 18 June, 2017, 02:11

He would nearly certainly secure the prize if he can help Portugal win the Confederations Cup, the main warm-up event for next year's World Cup.

KAZAN, Russia (AP) - Portugal is not anxious about Cristiano Ronaldo being distracted at the Confederations Cup by talk of his possible departure from Real Madrid.

Before the Champions League final two weeks ago, when Madrid won its second consecutive title with two goals by Ronaldo, the star forward said that he was never jeered while playing for Manchester United, and that he missed his time in England even though he loved living in Madrid and playing for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has 11 goals in five games with the national team this season, including two in Portugal's 3-0 win at Latvia in European World Cup qualifying last week, the team's last match before the Confederations Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo has responded to claims he has defrauded Spanish tax authorities out of 14.7million euros, claiming "sometimes the best answer is to be quiet".

"It's a high-profile match", Mexico forward Hirving Lozano said.

A good performance at the Confederations Cup will virtually secure him a fifth world player of the year award, equaling Lionel Messi.

While Portugal are favourites to edge El Tri, they know the power of the underdog all too well, as the Selecção, who were massive underdogs at last year's European Championships, stunned the world by lifting their maiden global title.

"We focus on our football and on what we want to do on the field. on what the "Profe" [coach Juan Carlos Osorio] is looking for us to do and what we are strong at, as well as what we have to improve", added Ochoa.

Hosts Russia are meanwhile hoping a new generation will show they can compete under tournament pressure ahead of the World Cup next year on home soil.

For Mexico, a shock upset or even a draw can prove to be crucial as they are likely to be competing with host Russian Federation for second place in their group and if they can pick up anything from their opener, progressing to the knockouts will suddenly become easier.

Germany, who qualified for the eight-team event by winning the World Cup in 2014, have a 38 percent chance of winning the final in St. Petersburg on July 2, according to ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI).

The match in Kazan will start at 1500 GMT and will be followed at 1800 GMT by the Group B opener between African champions Cameroon and Chile in Moscow.

Silva's first goal with Portugal's main squad was an 86th-minute close-range strike against Andorra, capping a 6-0 rout in which Ronaldo scored four times. "It is an aggressive team, pressing you all the time, but I think that we have enough quality to win this game".

Portugal players stretch during an official training session at the Rubin Training Ground in Kazan, Russia, on Friday, June 16, 2017.


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