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Cristiano Ronaldo

'Shut up all the idiots out there!' - Ronaldo captains Portugal vs Ghana as Keane backs ex-Man Utd forward to shine at World Cup

15:41 GMT 24/11/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal World Cup 2022
Roy Keane has backed former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo before he leads Portugal out against Ghana in his first appearance since leaving Man Utd.
  • Ronaldo's first match since leaving United
  • Captains Portugal against Ghana
  • Roy Keane backed former team-mate

WHAT HAPPENED? Amid all the controversy surrounding his exit from United and rumours of his next destination, Ronaldo will captain Portugal when they take on Ghana on Thursday. He features in a team alongside now ex-United teammate Bruno Fernandes, after their frosty reception upon the forward's arrival to camp.

Portugal XI: Costa; Cancelo, Dias, Pereira, Guerreiro; Neves, Otavio; Fernandes, Felix, Silva; Ronaldo (C).

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The announcement of Ronaldo's inclusion and captaincy comes just a few days after Man Utd revealed they were parting ways with the player due to comments made to Piers Morgan's TalkTV. Noise surrounding the forward - including a potential mega-money move to Saudi Arabia - only worsened when the player was handed a fine and domestic ban by the FA. Now acting as Portugal's captain, Keane feels Ronaldo will be able to drown that out and show his quality on the pitch.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I'm looking forward to seeing him play," Keane told ITV. "I hope he performs, I believe he will. He'll do it on the pitch and shut a few people up... all the idiots out there who have been criticising him. Great player, [I'm] lucky to have played with him and delighted to be watching him again tonight."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR PORTUGAL? After Thursday's opener against Ghana, Portugal will take on Uruguay, who played out an uneventful 0-0 draw against South Korea in their opening match.