Troubled Ronaldo eyes more silverware at Confederations Cup

Frederick Owens
June 19, 2017

"It's Portugal, not just Cristiano", said Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa after Wednesday's training in Kazan, Russia. But Ronaldo now has the chance to win again, and he is likely to be Portugal's driving force, with Santos' team strong favourites to qualify as winners of Group A ahead of Russia, Mexico and New Zealand.

Portugal players practice drills during an official training session at the Rubin Training Ground in Kazan, Russia, on Friday, June 16, 2017.

But for the next two weeks the main thing on the mind of the reigning Ballon d'Or holder is winning more silverware in the eight-nation World Cup warm-up event.

After a 21st minute free kick taken by Cristiano Ronaldo struck the wall, the ball was sent back into the area where four Portugal players were in offside positions and one of them challenged for the ball, meaning he was offside.

The 10th FIFA Confederations Cup gets underway on Saturday, but anyone looking for clues as to who will triumph at Russian Federation 2018 should be mindful that no team has ever won this tournament and then gone on to lift the World Cup the following year.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave the club and Spain after being accused of committing tax fraud in the country, a report in Portuguese sports daily A Bola said on Friday. The information could not be independently confirmed by The Associated Press.

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"No way", he said when asked if the CONCACAF Gold Cup winners will assign a dedicated marker to Ronaldo. The player did not talk to reporters in Kazan.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo inspects the grass during a training session at the Arena in Kazan, Russia, on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Portugal are fancied to go well, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and new Manchester City recruit Bernardo Silva named in a squad that looks to have a great mix of youth and experience. "He is taking this competition very seriously and is fully focused on training and on the match against Mexico". The prosecutor said Ronaldo used a shell company in the Virgin Islands to hide the true amount of income made from image rights, among other means of illegally reducing the amount of tax he paid. He has denied any wrongdoing.

But Ronaldo has also publicly expressed his discontentment about being jeered at times by some Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, saying that it's unfair considering all that he has done for the club since arriving in 2009.

Ronaldo led Real Madrid to their 12th European Cup earlier this month after scoring two goals in a 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final, becoming the tournament's top scorer.

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