Ronaldo not a distraction, says Portugal coach Santos

File photo: Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd L) attends a training session with teammates in Oeiras, Portugal, on Nov. 14, 2022, ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. (Photo by Pedro Fiuza/Xinhua)

Cristiano Ronaldo parted ways with Manchester United just two days before Portugal’s opening game against Ghana at the Qatar World Cup, which head coach Fernando Santos insisted will not distract the team.

“This is something that has not even been discussed,” Santos said at the pre-game press conference on Wednesday. “This conversation has not come up at any moment, not even from him.”

Santos said that the team is in good shape and well-prepared for Ghana who “will cause us a lot of problems.”

“Ghana is a very well-organized team. Their game against Switzerland showed that. African teams have a lot of talent, unpredictability, and are always improving tactically. Today they are much more complete teams,” he added.

Santos also indicated his ambition and desire of winning the World Cup, saying “I believe we have the ability to fight for this goal. We want to give the Portuguese people great joy.”

Portugal will face Ghana in their Group H game on Thursday.

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