Ronaldo attracting the headlines after report he might leave Spain
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 23:30
Cristiano Ronaldo, battling accusations of tax evasion and speculation over his club future, is concentrating only on the Confederations Cup, his Portugal teammate Andre Silva said Friday. The Confederations Cup is considered a warm up for next summer's World Cup.
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Portugal and Mexico, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Sunday, June 18, 2017.
"Nothing is going to change", Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio said Saturday, a day before Portugal's Confederations Cup debut against Mexico in Kazan.
May now be 32 but still remains the key man, as highlighted by the fact he has scored or provided an assist in his last seven matches for Portugal. "It's good that we get to play it right now, in our first game".
Ronaldo practiced normally with the rest of the team in the final training session before Sunday's game, smiling and joking with his teammates.
"This is another great competition for us after 2016, and I think the ambitions are again to win the cup".
The result left European champion Portugal and Gold Cup victor Mexico trailing host Russian Federation in Group A. Russian Federation opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday.
Ronaldo was peaking when he ended his season with Real Madrid, and now is looking to continue his good form with the national team in Russian Federation.
Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in five games with Portugal this season. "We faced the European champions, a team that plays at a very high level, and we played equal to them".
Santos' side improved from there, though, and when Carlos Salcedo allowed Ronaldo in on goal on the left, the forward quickly adjusted to an uncharacteristic stumble to slip a pass into the box for Quaresma, who coolly rounded Guillermo Ochoa to prod into the net.
Ronaldo made a great run from near midfield to set up Quaresma's 34th-minute goal.
Mexico equalized less than 10 minutes later with a close-range diving header by Chicharito after Portugal defender Raphael Guerreiro failed to clear a ball crossed into the area. Sure, but to have three, and with the third not marking at the back post? "We know these days that possession of the ball is the most important thing".
There is optimism in the Portuguese camp, as in young guns Bernardo Silva and Andre Silva, they have the flawless foil for the seemingly-ageless Cristiano Ronaldo.
With Mexico still scrambling at the back, another delivery from the right was flicked into the bottom-left corner by Nani, but the referee - assisted by the VAR - disallowed the goal for offside.