Ronaldo explains awkward Fernandes & Cancelo training incidents ahead of Portugal World Cup opener

  • All-time great criticised Manchester United
  • Is now chasing down global crown in Qatar
  • Claims to have no issue with team-mates

WHAT HAPPENED? The five-time Ballon d’Or winner finds himself back under the microscope following an explosive pre-tournament interview in which he savaged those he works with at club level for Manchester United. Ronaldo’s every move is once again being dissected in minute detail, with those watching on from afar suggesting that he has already butted heads with international colleagues Fernandes and Cancelo after linking up with his country.

WHAT THEY SAID: Ronaldo has sought to shed light on incidents that saw him appear to receive a frosty reception from United team-mate Fernandes when he joined the Portugal squad, before going on to clash with Manchester City full-back Cancelo on the training field. An all-time great has said: “It was another one that, unfortunately, went wrong for us. My relationship with him [Fernandes] is excellent. His plane arrived late and I simply asked if he had come by boat. I was goofing around. It was the same with Cancelo. He had a tough start to training, so I grabbed him by the neck and said: 'Wake up, come on, you've got this'. Another controversy on your end.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo will not allow himself to become distracted by stories and debates outside of his control, with the 37-year-old looking to chase down an elusive global crown. He added when asked if he can be considered the greatest to have ever played the game: “Even if I win the World Cup that will continue. Some people like me more, some less. It’s like in life, some like blondes, some like brunettes. I have always had to show what I can do year after year, especially for myself, family and fans. Everyone has an opinion. I respect that. I would live to win this tournament. I’m ambitious but if you tell me I won’t win any more tournaments I would still be happy given all I have won. I would be happy with my achievements. In the history books all other records will be there. But obviously a World Cup on the shelf wouldn’t be bad. It would be a dream. I hope all the energy is on the right side and on our side.”


Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 2022Getty Images

20221118 Cristiano Ronaldo Bruno FernandesGetty Images

Joao Cancelo, Portugal vs. República

WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? Portugal are due to open their 2022 World Cup campaign against Ghana on Thursday, before going on to face Uruguay and South Korea in their other Group H fixtures.

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