Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken three days before Portugal kick off their World Cup campaign against Ghana.

The Seleção captain was the chosen player for today’s daily press conference, and did not shirk any question. The press conference covered Portugal’s ambitions, the tournament favourites, that interview, his relationship with Bruno Fernandes, and the Lionel Messi GOAT debate. 

 

Is this Portugal’s best generation of players?

“It’s all relative. I believe our team has enormous potential. Whether we win or not… Let’s see. Whether this is the best Seleção or not, we can only say at the end. A team that wins is the best generation.

“This generation is very good, it has enormous potential, it’s young. But we’ll take things calmly and think first about the match against Ghana, which in my opinion is the most difficult. We need to start well to gain confidence, and then take it step by step.

 

Who are the tournament favourites?

“There are those teams who we look at in a different light and make the biggest favourites, like Brazil, Argentina, France and Germany, who usually have more probability or are considered favourites by the whole world and by the fans.

In 2016, nobody gave Portugal a chance and we won. There may be surprises, and I hope in this World Cup it can happen again.”

 

Relationship with Bruno Fernandes

“In these tournament final phases there are always controversies. This incident with Bruno Fernandes was another one that you [the media] got wrong. You get lots of things wrong! I was having a joke with him. My relationship with him is excellent. He arrived late because his plane was delayed and I asked him if he came by boat. It was a joke and you made a storm out of it.

“The same thing happened with Cancelo. He was a little annoyed in the training session after a heavy challenge by Félix. I grabbed his neck and said, “come on mate, let’s go,” to encourage him.”

 

The Piers Morgan interview 

“Everything around Cristiano is always a debate. This was the timing I chose for the interview; I’m not worried what others think. I’m absolutely sure it will not influence anything as regards what the Portugal team wants to do this tournament.

“All the players and staff know me; they know how I think. They’ve known me since I was 12 years old and they won’t be influenced by what others say and write.

“The squad is tightknit, confident and united. We’re are really looking forward to this competition. Everyone wants to play, which is something I like to see in a squad that has very high ambitions. I have no doubt that this episode that happened with me, or any other one that happens with other players, will not affect the squad.”

 

Good vibes

“The atmosphere in the Seleção is excellent. We are all with body and soul in the Seleção. We have the goal of winning the tournament and the squad is tightknit.

“I’ll take the opportunity to ask you, for the next press conferences, don’t always ask questions about Cristiano. Ask questions about the World Cup, about their expectations, and don’t talk about me. The Cristiano case is closed. Talk about the tournament.

“If someone asked me a question, for example, about Rafa [who recently retired from international football], I wouldn’t answer it, because it’s a chapter that has closed. The coach gave an interview and talked about this topic.

“Ask questions about the Seleção. I’d like you to do that.”

 

You are two goals away from equalling Eusébio’s record as Portugal’s highest goalscorer at World Cups. Is that one of your aims?

“As I’ve said before, and it may seem a little vain, I don’t chase after records, they chase after me. In the last few years I’ve beaten record after record. Beating the record of our Eusébio would be something special, but I’m not losing sleep over it.

“If we win the tournament and I don’t score a single goal, I’ll take that, I swear on my children’s lives. It’s the most important thing for me. It’s what will be written in the annuls.”

 

Will Portugal winning finally settle the Ronaldo/Messi GOAT debate? 

“I don’t see things that way. Even if we won the World Cup that debate would go on. It’s like everything in life; some prefer blonds, others prefer brunettes.

“I’d love to win this tournament, but if you told me I’d never win another trophy until the end of my career, I’d be happy all the same. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.

“But a World Cup in my career wouldn’t be bad! I’d love it and it’s a dream for me. It’s possible. Let’s see. I hope the positive energies are on our side and we can do our best.”

 

Portugal kick off their campaign in Group H against Ghana on Thursday, before taking on Uruguay on 28 November, and ending the group with a match against South Korea, on 2 December. 

 

Related: World Cup opposition watch: the lowdown on Ghana

Related: World Cup opposition watch: the lowdown on Uruguay

Related: World Cup opposition watch: the lowdown on South Korea

 

Comments (12)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

He handled that well, made the nerves a little less excited. Let's go!!!!!!!!!

Robert Martins
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Watched the press conference and here is my take. Now not sticking up for him and don't condone his behaviour particularly the timing of Morgan interview. BUT conducted himself very well during press conference which leads me to believe once...

Watched the press conference and here is my take. Now not sticking up for him and don't condone his behaviour particularly the timing of Morgan interview. BUT conducted himself very well during press conference which leads me to believe once again the media has made a massive meal out of all of this. CR7 is not innocent , by no means but in truth it sells and the more negative the more it sells. Can honestly say Ive been sucked in by mainstream media once again, just never learn! Advise you to watch press conference if you haven't already,. If you understand Portuguese then the better you will understand what I mean.

This very, very talented Portuguese squad with depth in every position in truth does not have another goal machine like CR7 and that's a fact. His attitude, reluctance not to be sub, demand on receiving the ball when others are in better position and selfishness when he does have the ball is a problem. But when he is on song nobody is better and for that he needs to be left alone. Let CR7 do what he does best and heck if it doesn't work then it might really be for the last time! Certainly at a WC.

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Andrew Gomes
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Well I have no issue whatsoever with the interview. He did what he thinks is right and had the courage to do so. He is the biggest megastar in the world. Why should he be disrespected by his employer. Why should anyone? Everyone has said...

Well I have no issue whatsoever with the interview. He did what he thinks is right and had the courage to do so. He is the biggest megastar in the world. Why should he be disrespected by his employer. Why should anyone? Everyone has said the same about united for years. Why shouldn’t he? Cristiano is the king and I will support him and Portugal all the way. Whenever he is written off he always has the last laugh. What this space.

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Francisco
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That was well done by CR7, probably the best he could possibly do under the circumstances. He can't undo the harm his interview might cause for Man U and its fans, but he did very well today to compartmentalize his club issues from our selecao. A...

That was well done by CR7, probably the best he could possibly do under the circumstances. He can't undo the harm his interview might cause for Man U and its fans, but he did very well today to compartmentalize his club issues from our selecao. A good result against Ghana will put further distance between the "noise" he created last week and our current ambitions.

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Nelson
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But would he fine if Portugal won the World Cup and he didn't start or play every game? Doubtful.

BennyFromBrooklyn
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He was crying tears of happiness when Portugal won the Euro final without him.
Maybe you need to find a hobby other than having dumb opinions. Getting a life perhaps?

Adam
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Ha, really? You do realize that he wasn't playing in the Euro final b/c he got injured right? Not b/c he was benched. Big Difference. If you don't realize that then you truly are an idiot. Well, I'm sure you're an idiot.
If Ronaldo had been...

Ha, really? You do realize that he wasn't playing in the Euro final b/c he got injured right? Not b/c he was benched. Big Difference. If you don't realize that then you truly are an idiot. Well, I'm sure you're an idiot.
If Ronaldo had been benched for the Euro final I can guarantee he would have pouted on the bench the whole time and probably left before the trophy presentation. In 2016 though there was no reason to bench Ronaldo....in 2022 there is.

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BennyFromBrooklyn
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I do not understand why people are so obsessed with C Ronaldo's interview with Peir Morgan.

C Ronaldo is employed at Man United club and so are Bruno Fernandes and others. All players at man United have their own contracts.

If C Ronaldo says or...

I do not understand why people are so obsessed with C Ronaldo's interview with Peir Morgan.

C Ronaldo is employed at Man United club and so are Bruno Fernandes and others. All players at man United have their own contracts.

If C Ronaldo says or comments about this employer or the club, what the f..k is the problem with the negative thinking fans.

If his contract is terminated by man United he will lose £500,000/week, it's not going from our pocket.

I would say to all the negative thinking Ar....hole Please SHUT UP.

Dont act like ..........?

ALL THE BEST C RONALDO. YOU ARE THE BEST

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Neville
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Football is the beautiful game for many reasons, the idea of not just being a fan but "belonging to a club" along with the pyramid of leagues and relegation / promotion based on merit are at the core of what makes football special to many. I'd...

Football is the beautiful game for many reasons, the idea of not just being a fan but "belonging to a club" along with the pyramid of leagues and relegation / promotion based on merit are at the core of what makes football special to many. I'd wager that those of us who have been critical of Ronaldo's interview would be the same folk who were critical of the European super league. Which is to say that we care more about the sanctity of the game than money.

Ronaldo's behavior at Man United since the Summer has been nothing short of appalling. And that interview was 100% self serving.

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Nelson
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You don't get it, Nelson.

Today, Clubs are business houses that don't care about players and fans, they see how they can generate revenue and raise their share value.

C Ronaldo's interview was perfectly timed, his interview will help many...

You don't get it, Nelson.

Today, Clubs are business houses that don't care about players and fans, they see how they can generate revenue and raise their share value.

C Ronaldo's interview was perfectly timed, his interview will help many professional footballers who are treated badly at the club by the managers and the management.

C Ronaldo generates a lot of revenue for the club unlike Erik or other players by selling his jersey. During his transfer to R Madrid, the club recovered his transfer fee within six months.

When Portuguese lifts the WC, Erick will be sacked from the club, not C Ronaldo as he is a cash machine to the club with millions of fans worldwide buying his jersey.

Don't be negative about C Ronaldo, he will lift the WC. Cheer for him and the team.

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Neville
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Clubs are businesses, but looks to me like Man Utd just saved themselves 500k a week in wages for a player who has a limited sporting return on the pitch, not to mention getting shot of the circus that revolves around him every time he doesn't...

Clubs are businesses, but looks to me like Man Utd just saved themselves 500k a week in wages for a player who has a limited sporting return on the pitch, not to mention getting shot of the circus that revolves around him every time he doesn't play every second of every game.

Why would ETH be sacked if Portugal somehow win the WC?

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Santos
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With all due respect Neville. Please re-read my post above, I was only trying to highlight why those of us who were bothered by the interview might have felt so. I was certainly not suggesting how you or anyone else should think. Think about...

With all due respect Neville. Please re-read my post above, I was only trying to highlight why those of us who were bothered by the interview might have felt so. I was certainly not suggesting how you or anyone else should think. Think about that, and now read what you've posted here.

I don't think I've ever seen more ad hominem retorts or straw man arguments. I'm ok with you believing that "I don't get it", that's fine

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Nelson
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