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FIFA World Cup: The conversation has not come up, says Portugal coach Fernando Santos on Cristiano Ronaldo row

Portugal coach Fernando Santos has played down the controversy surrounding star forward Cristiano Ronaldo by saying the conversation has not come up yet. Portugal are set to face Ghana in their opening Group H encounter.

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Santos plays down Cristiano Ronaldo controversy in Portugal camp (AP)

In Short

  • Santos plays down Cristiano Ronaldo controversy in Portugal camp
  • Santos says Ronaldo controversy hasn't come up in Portugal camp
  • Portugal set to face Ghana in their opening match

By India Today Web Desk: Portugal coach Fernando Santos has played down the controversy surrounding star forward Cristiano Ronaldo by saying the conversation has not come up yet. Portugal are set to face Ghana in their opening Group H encounter.

Speaking ahead of their game, Santos said the conversation regarding Ronaldo's row with Manchester United has not come up, insisting the team is focused on training together.

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"I think this is something that hasn't even been discussed. There has been no comment about that in our time together, whether on the pitch, where we were training or whenever we are resting, whenever we are together. Today we had all 20 players playing and practicing. The conversation has not come up at any moment, not even from him," said Santos.

The Portuguese head coach said the team's focus is on having a great spirit ahead of their opening match in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

"Now, if they're talking about that when they're in their rooms alone, I can't say. I mean, the players have the time for themselves to do whatever it is that they want. Now, the important thing is that the players are absolutely focused with a great spirit. They're very convinced about what they must do and what their objectives are. You see what they expect and the struggles they face. They're very realistic about the challenges that they'll be facing, starting with the first game against Ghana. To win a competition of this magnitude is difficult, whatever the squad may be and whatever the situation may be," Santos added.

Portugal have been drawn alongside Ghana, South Korea, and two-time World champions Uruguay in Group H. They will face Ghana in their opening match and look to get off to a winning start in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.