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etvfutures.com November 19, 2017


Portugal hoping Ronaldo can continue his good form in Russia

18 June 2017, 01:08 | Lucia Cruz

"It's Portugal, not just Cristiano", Ochoa told the press in Kazan after Wednesday's training.

Portugal will play Mexico in a Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match scheduled for Sunda.

Real Madrid also gave their backing to Ronaldo, releasing a statement saying the club had "full confidence in our player Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted in accordance with the legality regarding compliance with his tax obligations". Germany, World Cup winners and joint favourites for the Confederations Cup, warmed up with a 7-0 win over San Marino last weekend.

It is not just Ronaldo they will need to stop though - winger Bernardo Silva, who missed Euro 2016 through injury, is fresh from winning the French title with Monaco and sealing a big-money move to Manchester City.

Silva, who has just moved from FC Porto to AC Milan in a transfer worth almost 40 million euros, has scored seven goals in eight games since his debut with the national team in a friendly against Gibraltar in September.

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.

"Portugal always shows ambition in every competition that it plays", Alves said. Portugal, the defending European champions, play Mexico on Sunday in their Group A opener in the eight-nation competition that serves as a warm-up for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation.

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Silva has been compared to a young Fernand Torres, the former Spain striker now playing for Atletico Madrid.

"This is the final word on Cristiano", Santos said, about halfway through his appearance in front of the media.

At 32, Ronaldo's remaining ambitions are likely to be played out in Russian Federation, this summer and next year. I try to listen to him and he tries to help me as best he can.

When asked about Sunday's match, soccer fan Daniel Alarcón, 29, of Denver, Colorado said that he "has to believe" Mexico will win the match, though Portugal is a very strong team and Ronaldo is having a great year.

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

Santos showed a lot of respect for Sunday's opponents Mexico, highlighting El Tri's technical ability and suggesting he thinks coach Juan Carlos Osorio will play a back line of four. Therefore, the only gaps in his CV will have to be filled in Russian Federation, a country he has already experienced success in following United's Champions League win against Chelsea in Moscow in 2008. Julian Draxler is arguably the most experienced player in the squad at age 23, so it will be fascinating to see how they line up in Russian Federation.



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