Ronaldo says row with Man Utd ´won´t shake´ Portugal team

He is the all-time leading goalscorer in men´s international football

By AFP
November 21, 2022
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during a training session ahead of FIFA World Cup — Reuters 

DOHA: Cristiano Ronaldo said Monday that his row with Manchester United would not have an adverse effect on the Portugal team at the World Cup in Qatar.

Reduced to a peripheral role at United this season, the superstar last week lashed out at his club and United coach Erik ten Hag in a TV interview.

"I have no doubt that this recent episode, that interview, and other episodes with other players that happen sometimes, can sometimes shake the player but won´t shake the team," Ronaldo said at a press conference at the Portugal camp.

Ronaldo was suspended for the Premier League club´s 1-1 draw at Chelsea after refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham last month.

The 37-year-old claimed during the interview with British journalist Piers Morgan that he felt "provoked" into that reaction by Ten Hag.

The five-time Ballon d´Or winner remains the spearhead for Portugal despite his struggles at club level and hopes to keep playing until he is 40.

'Ronaldo will be phenomenal'

However, Ronaldo's Portugal team-mate Ruben Neves believes the forward will have a "phenomenal" tournament.

"From what I´ve seen in training he is in a spectacular state of form," Neves said on Sunday.

"We´re not worried about anything. We know that we can work very well so that individuals stand out. If we are good, Cristiano will be phenomenal."

Ronaldo, with 117 goals, is the all-time leading goalscorer in men´s international football.

Footage emerged last week of a seemingly tense handshake between Ronaldo and his Manchester United and Portugal team-mate Bruno Fernandes.

But Neves played down speculation over tensions in the squad.

"I don´t think there´s controversy in the dressing room, it´s impossible for us to go around without some controversy," said the midfielder.

"There´s more outside the camp and in the media than in the dressing room. It´s all been said, and we have a spectacular atmosphere."