Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Cristiano for Saudi football? More rumors about the Portuguese star

DOHA ( Associated Press) – The furore surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo shows no sign of abating amid widespread speculation that Saudi club Al Nassr is looking to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

But Portugal, who already have a ticket to the World Cup round of 16 with a game to play, doesn’t seem to be affected by the attention being drawn to their most famous player.

“He is our captain and probably the most important person in Portuguese football. It is important to have him in our side,” striker Andre Silva told a press conference on Wednesday, in which his team-mates were constant.

Reports linking Cristiano to Al Nasr come after Manchester United terminated the Portuguese ace’s contract following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he criticized his manager Erik ten Haag and the club’s owners. Ronaldo, 37, is now a free agent and his availability has attracted attention both in Qatar and abroad.

The player’s representatives have not commented on reports about his future, and Silva dismissed suggestions that the speculation could be a distraction for Portugal in its bid to win the World Cup.

“These issues concern players, in this case Cristiano, who has a lot of experience,” said Silva.

Cristiano has also attracted attention on the pitch, becoming the first player to score five World Cup goals with a penalty in a 3-2 win over Ghana in the opening match.

But the non-scorer in Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday sparked controversy.

Cristiano says he touched down Bruno Fernandes’ cross which ended under the Uruguayan goal and opened the scoring. FIFA determined otherwise after reviewing the play on video.

“In the end, FIFA pinned it on Bruno Fernandes, they could have pinned it on me too,” laughed Silva. “We all want to do our best for Portugal, we want to score. It is irrelevant who scores.”

Portugal will take on South Korea on Friday and need a draw to top Group H.

Nation World News Desk
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