Ronaldo relaxed ahead of Portugal’s World Cup opener against Ghana
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal take on Ghana at the 974 Stadium in Doha as both teams begin their Group H campaign.
Ronaldo is playing his first game since leaving Manchester United by mutual consent earlier this week following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan ahead of the tournament. The 37-year-old Portuguese captain is playing in his fifth World Cup and admits it will likely be his last chance to try for the Jules Rimet Trophy. He offers to do so alongside many talented players, including Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Rafael Leao.
But Ghana will be no pushover and will boast of the quality of their squad, including Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey at the heart of the squad. Every game will be crucial in what has been identified as the tournament’s most balanced group, with Uruguay and South Korea also vying for a place in the knockout stages.
Follow all the action with our live blog below.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Can the Portugal legend still make a difference on the world stage?
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been named the world’s best player five times, will arrive in Qatar on a mission to prove he can still make a difference.
It’s undisputed that Ronaldo is one of the greatest strikers of all time, but his recent bouts with Manchester United and Portugal have raised many questions as to whether his glittering career is coming to a bitter end.
Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of men’s international football with 117 goals in 191 official matches.
Between his first goal for Portugal against Greece at Euro 2004 and his most recent, a brace against Switzerland in June 2022, 18 years have passed, making him a model of longevity.
He has scored 818 goals in his career and holds the record for the most Champions League goals in the history of the competition with 140.
Luke BakerNovember 24, 2022 2:36 p.m.
Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United with immediate effect
Ronaldo lashed out at the owners, executives, manager and even some of his own United team-mates in an extraordinary tirade which aired the week before the tournament, effectively burning his bridges with the club, and the hierarchy has concluded that Erik ten Hag’s side would be better off without the forward going forward.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ronaldo said he “loved” the club and its fans, but it was time for a “new challenge”.
“Following conversations with Manchester United, we have mutually agreed to end our contract early,” Ronaldo said. “I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never change. However, it seems like the time has come for me to look for a new challenge. I wish the team every success for the rest of the season. and for the future.
It is understood that Ronaldo will not receive any payment from the club.
Luke BakerNovember 24, 2022 2:31 p.m.
Is Portugal v Ghana on TV? Kick off time, channel and how to watch the World Cup match
Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo are real threats in Fernando Santos’ squad, and they will be motivated to make the most of this generation of talent as they bid to lift Portugal’s maiden World Cup. To do so, however, the 2016 European champions must first navigate ties with Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Luke BakerNovember 24, 2022 2:25 p.m.
Portugal v Ghana
welcome to The Independents Live coverage of Portgual v Ghana in Group H at the 2022 World Cup.
Portugal renew their bid for a first-ever World Cup trophy with a tricky opening in Qatar. The Portuguese are now considered one of the leading nations in world football, a status bolstered by their triumph at Euro 2016, but the reality is that their best World Cup effort was a third-place finish in 1966. They finished fourth in 2006 but haven’t made it past the last 16 since, exiting at that point in 2010 and 2018 while crashing out of the squad in 2014.
With superstar Cristiano Ronaldo at their helm on the pitch, however, it still feels like Portugal have a shot at glory, and the 37-year-old will feel particularly fired up in what could mark his final World Cup. This time around, he and his teammates will have to navigate Group H, first against Ghana before taking on Uruguay and South Korea.
Today’s match also marks Ronaldo’s first return to the pitch since it was announced on Tuesday that he has left Manchester United by mutual consent following his explosive interview with Pier Morgan earlier this month.
Stick with us for full live coverage of Portugal vs Ghana.
Luke BakerNovember 24, 2022 2:16 p.m.