Ronaldo thinking only of Confederations Cup, says Silva

In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 28 2017, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the worldwide friendly soccer match between Portugal and Sweden at the dos Barreiros stadium in Funchal, Madeira island, Portugal.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has warned against overly focusing on Cristiano Ronaldo when El Tri kicks off its Confederations Cup campaign on Sunday against Portugal in Kazan.

The 32-year-old Portugal global is coming into the Confederations Cup in form and on a high having led Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double last season, but Mexico won't have a specific man-marker for Ronaldo. "He is an idol even for the players, and we hope that he can help Portugal with some of his goals and victories".

I believe that this Portugal side will prove their quality in their opening fixture and after 4-0 and 3-0 wins in their last two matches - confidence should be running high!

"It's a high-profile match", Mexico forward Hirving Lozano said. "But we re a great side too, and I m sure we can stop him", striker Raul Jimenez, a Portuguese league and cup double victor with Benfica, told FIFA.com.

A Spanish state prosecutor on Tuesday accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 totaling 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million), claiming he used a shell company in the Virgin Islands to hide the true amount of income made from image rights, among other means of illegally reducing the amount of tax he paid. He has denied any wrongdoing. The 32-year old was exceptional in last summer's European Championships and if he can perform at his very best, Portugal have to be considered one of the favourites to win the tournament.

Head coach Fernando Santos insisted he has total faith in his captain to deliver but Osorio feels it would be risky to ignore the other attacking talent at Portugal's disposal.

"When we did well against Mexico and the U.S. (1-1 draw) a year ago it was because we won the ball pressing high up the pitch, connected a few passes and create things from there".

"We already got our names carved in the European trophy previous year, so it is important now to get out hands on a global trophy for our country. We have to make an example on Sunday and try to start off with a win".

The Anthony Hudson-coached outfit want to become the first senior New Zealand team to advance to the knockout stages of a major Federation Internationale de Football Association tournament in Russia and now need a serious change in fortunes for that to eventuate.

The tournament gets underway in St Petersburg on 17 June when Russian Federation play New Zealand.

Portugal won 2-1 the only time it faced Mexico in an official match, in the group stage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

For my Portugal v Mexico tips, I am backing Portugal to win at a best price of 6/5.

The 28-year-old South African-based player said it capped off what had not been a disappointing night personally, but for the team as a whole.

  • Arturo Norris