In the latest Portugal news, Manuel Fernandes insists talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is fully focused on the upcoming World Cup despite speculation surrounding his club future with Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has spent the last nine years with Real and recently helped them to a third successive Champions League title thanks to a 3-1 victory over Liverpool in Kiev.
However, the 33-year-old cast his future with Los Blancos into doubt immediately after the success, indicating he could leave the club, although he has since admitted his comments may have been ill-timed.
That means there is speculation surrounding Ronaldo heading into this summer’s World Cup in Russia, just as there was two years ago at Euro 2016.
Portugal went on to win their first ever major international honour in France that summer and midfielder Fernandes insists Ronaldo is fully focused on steering A Selecao to another title this year.
“I don’t have any kind of negative view. I see him as normal. He doesn’t seem to be worried about the future to me,” said Fernandes. “He’s very focused on what the national team are doing and being able to help Portugal.”
Fernando Santos’ side are likely to need Ronaldo firing on all cylinders if they are to make an impact on the tournament and Fernades is happy to rely on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is priced at 14/1 with Corbett Sports to finish as the leading scorer in Russia.
“Given that he is such an important player for the team and one of the best in the world, it is normal that we have some dependence on him,” Lokomotiv Moscow star Fernandes said.
Portugal have been drawn in Group B for the finals where they will take on Spain, Morocco and Japan, with their potentially pivotal opening match against their Iberian neighbours set to take place in Sochi on Friday.