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Ghana coach Otto Addo says he doesn’t care about Cristiano Ronaldo’s club situation ahead of his side’s match against Portugal.
The African nation take on Ronaldo and Co. in their opening 2022 World Cup game in Qatar later today.
Much of the pre-match talk has focused on Ronaldo, who had his contract with Manchester United mutually terminated earlier this week.
It came after the attacker undertook a controversial interview, in which he criticised the Red Devils and said he had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.
Despite the distraction at club level, Ronaldo looks set to be a key player for Portugal in Qatar.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 22, 2022
Ronaldo situation ‘not Ghana’s problem’
Ghana topped their Confederation of African Football (CAF) World Cup second round qualifying group, before defeating Nigeria on away goals in the third round to clinch a spot in Qatar.
They go into the tournament as the lowest-ranked side, and are short of confidence after finishing bottom of their Africa Cup of Nations group earlier this year.
Ghana currently sit 61st in the FIFA Men’s World Rankings.
All of the recent headlines have, however, focused on their opponent Ronaldo. But Ghana coach Addo has expressed exactly how he feels about the situation.
“I don’t care, it’s not our problem and I don’t think it’s a big problem,” said Addo, as reported by BBC Sport.
“Everybody wants to win and we’re at World Cup level, I don’t think this can disrupt anybody.”
Portugal go into clash as favourites
Ghana captain Andre Ayew also had his say on the Ronaldo situation, suggesting that the European side are only focused on playing well in Qatar.
“As my boss said it’s not really our problem what’s happening in the Portuguese team, they are great professionals, playing for top teams, they will be ready for the World Cup,” said Ayew.
“Portugal are the ones who are favourites on paper, we have to show on the field, that on paper is not what will happen on the pitch.”
Ghana opponents fully focused on task at hand
Ronaldo’s former Man Utd teammate and compatriot Bruno Fernandes also weighed in on the situation.
The midfielder says it was a “privilege” to play alongside the forward at Old Trafford, and reveals that the Portugal team have not been distracted by the issue.
“We haven’t discussed the topic – we are all focused on the national team and the World Cup,” said Fernandes.
“You know how important playing for Portugal is for Cristiano and for all of us. It is the dream of every player.
“Our focus is 100% on the national team and we are all aware of what we have to do.”
Fernandes added: “I don’t feel uncomfortable. It was a privilege to play with Cristiano and a dream at the club.
“Cristiano has always been an inspiration for me, it was a dream to be able to play with him at Man Utd, but we know nothing lasts forever.”
After the Portugal match, Ghana have a game against South Korea on November 28, before wrapping up their group schedule with a match against Uruguay on December 2.