Portugal sees Ronaldo fully focused on Confederations Cup

"It's a very short tournament and we have to concentrate 100 per cent on each game".

Ronaldo has been linked with a sensational move away from Real Madrid amid reports he has told the club he no longer wants to play in Spain.

The 2017 Confederations Cup begins on Saturday in Russian Federation, a year before the World Cup. "It would be a attractive thing to have on the CV. Of course, it would be a dream to win it", Ronaldo said in January, since when he has powered Madrid to glory both in La Liga and in the Champions League.

"We are going to Russian Federation with ambitions, not necessarily that of winning the trophy". The best performance to date by the continent's representatives in the competition remains that of Cameroon country that reached the final in 2003 but lost to France. "He is an idol even for the players, and we hope that he can help Portugal with some of his goals and victories".

Now 39 and playing for Shanghai SIPG, the former Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Monaco defender is not among the squad picked by head coach Fernando Santos for the World Cup warm-up event in Russian Federation, where Portugal face Mexico in their opening game in Kazan on Sunday, but he will be watching his countrymen with keen interest.

Then 38, Carvalho became the oldest player in the history of the UEFA event in France a year ago, and helped his team claim their first piece of major global silverware thanks to a dramatic extra-time triumph over the hosts in the showpiece in Paris.

"The result is not so important, the experience is more important for the team", Broos said at a post-match press conference. "We have to make an example on Sunday and try to start off with a win". "I have the same confidence today", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said earlier this week.

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.

Mexico, who drew 1-1 at home to the United States in World Cup qualifying last weekend, will look to Real Sociedad's Carlos Vela and Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez for inspiration.

They will be led by former Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez, still going strong at 38 - while Ronaldo will win his 140th cap in the game, Marquez will be making his 139th worldwide appearance.

Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and hosts Russian Federation are in Group A, while Australia, Cameroon and Chile join Germany in Group B.

However, Arsenal forward Sanchez is a doubt, while goalkeeper and captain Claudio Bravo will miss the opening game as he recovers from a calf injury, according to the Chilean federation.

  • Leroy Wright