Unwanted feat of Cristiano Ronaldo before the match Portugal – Ghana at the World Cup

What do Cristiano Ronaldo have in common with former Socceroos defender Craig Moore and former New Zealand international Simon Elliott?

Not much at the moment. But when the superstar takes the field for Portugal against Ghana on Friday Morning (AEDT), the three will share a unique World Cup feat.

He will be the first player since Moore and Elliott in 2010 to play in a World Cup match without a club.

Ronaldo is the only player out of 831 competing in Qatar without a club.

The striker parted ways with Premier League club Manchester United on Tuesday by mutual agreement and is looking for a new club.

Ronaldo, 37, gave a controversial interview last week in which he lashed out at manager Erik ten Hag and the club itself, prompting his exit.

How much this search for a new club will affect his performance on the field will become clear in a few hours.

But Portugal manager Fernando Santos said that to his knowledge the players had not discussed Ronaldo’s abrupt departure from Manchester United.

“During the time spent together on the field, whenever we are together, playing and training, there was never even a conversation with him (Ronaldo),” he said at a press conference.

“If they talk about it in their rooms in private, I can’t tell. The players are absolutely focused, enthusiastic, convinced of what they have to do, what their goals are and are realistic about the challenges ahead of them.

The superstar was also suspended for two English Premier League matches and fined £50,000 for knocking a mobile phone out of the hands of a teenage fan.

Ronaldo was involved in a feud with a 14-year-old boy following the Red Devils’ 1-0 loss to Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on 9 April.

Of course, this ban doesn’t matter unless Ronaldo finds another team in England, but it’s just one more distraction he needs ahead of his last World Cup.

His teammates say the off-pitch drama with Ronaldo doesn’t affect the team in Qatar.

Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who played with Ronaldo at Manchester United, said playing with him at United was “a dream” but “nothing lasts forever”.

“This is his career and we must respect such decisions, every decision must be respected whether you agree or not,” he said before the game against Ghana.

“We, as players, and also as parents, brothers, we know that it can be difficult to make some decisions, but these decisions must be aimed at the well-being of ourselves and our families.”

Ghana coach Otto Addo believes Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United will not affect Portugal.

“I don’t care, it’s not our problem and I don’t think it’s a big problem,” Addo said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Everyone wants to win and we are at the level of the World Cup, I don’t think that can stop anyone.”

Black Stars captain André Ayew agreed with his coach and said Euro 2016 winners Portugal would be favorites to play at the 974 Stadium in Doha.

“As my boss said, what happens in the Portuguese team is not really our problem, they are great professionals, they play for top teams, they will be ready for the World Cup,” said Ayu, who plays for the Qatari club Al- Sadd.”

“Portugal is the favorite on paper, we have to show on the pitch that on paper this is not what will happen on the pitch.”

With AFP

Originally published as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Unwanted World Cup Feat