score and latest updates on Ronaldo goal

By Dan Zeqiri

Cristiano Ronaldo kicks-off a fifth World Cup campaign with Portugal as a free agent following his Manchester United contract termination. Hopefully he can catch the eye of a scout or two. The word on the grapevine is he might have a chance of making it, although they say he has an abysmal taste in interviewers.

Portugal are in a tricky group alongside Uruguay, South Korea and this afternoon’s opponents Ghana, who were denied at South Africa 2010 by that infamous Luis Suarez handball.

There is a feeling that Portugal have gone a little stale under manager Fernando Santos, with whom they won Euro 2016, but they have one of the most lavishly talented squads in the competition. Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva will pull the strings, Rafael Leao  offers blistering speed on the wing and Ronaldo and Joao Felix are other star attackers. Manchester City pair Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo will be mainstays in the back four.

“The environment in the changing room is excellent. No problems,” five-times Ballon D’Or winner Ronaldo said on Monday. “The group is shielded. And I take this opportunity to say: stop asking about me.”

Much will revolve around Thomas Partey for Ghana, who signed off the first period of the Premier League season in imperious form with Arsenal. How his body stands up to three days in just over a week could be crucial. Ajax forward Mohammed Kudus is primed to be their next star player, comparing himself to Neymar in an interview with the Guardian this morning. Coach Otto Addo, Ghana’s third manager in 12 months, has sought to rebuild the team after a disastrous showing at the Cup of Nations in early 2022, bringing in more European-born players such as Brighton & Hove Albion wingback Tariq Lamptey.

Full team news on the way shortly.  

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