Ronaldo: row with Man Utd ‘won’t shake’ Portugal team

… ahead of World Cup opener

Ronaldo arriving in Qatar

Cristiano Ronaldo insisted on Monday that his explosive row with Manchester United would not impact Portugal’s chances at the World Cup as they prepare for their opening match in Qatar with Ghana.

The Madeiran lashed out at Premier League club United and the team’s coach Erik ten Hag in a TV interview after being relegated to a peripheral role this season. “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.

`Every player, manager, president and kit man, they all know who I am, what I think. They know me since I was 11 years old. They won’t be influenced by what people say or write.”

“Everything around Cristiano is always a reason for debate and talks,” Ronaldo added. “We see it on the TV news. It’s normal. I understand it. But I will repeat once again: the environment at the national team is excellent.”

“Bulletproof and iron-clad”

Sky Sports report that Cristiano Ronaldo says he is “bulletproof and iron-clad” following his explosive interview last week and says his relationship with Manchester United team-mate Bruno Fernandes is “excellent”.

And there was intrigue surrounding a seemingly frosty reception Ronaldo got from Bruno Fernandes, his United teammate, when they met up for the first time at Portugal’s pre-World Cup training camp in Lisbon.

That was also played down by Ronaldo. “I simply made a joke with him because he arrived late due to his flight,” he said, “and I asked if he had come by boat. It was a joke and you (the media) did a storm.”

But in a surprise and unadvertised media appearance for Portugal ahead of their World Cup opener against Ghana on Thursday, Ronaldo publicly addressed his bombshell interview for the first time since it aired amid questions whether it had been a distraction in the Portugal dressing room.

He said: “The atmosphere is excellent, no problems, we are completely focused. You can help by not talking about me. I’m completely bulletproof and iron-clad.

“If you ask other players about Cristiano Ronaldo I would be upset. If you want to ask him about the World Cup and the team, I would like you to do that.”

He added: “In my life, the best timing is always my timing.

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

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