World Cup: Ronaldo is in ‘spectacular’ form, says Portugal’s Neves

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo at a training session, ahead of their World Cup opener against Ghana on Thursday. PHOTO: REUTERS

DOHA – Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves said his captain Cristiano Ronaldo is in “spectacular” shape as the team prepare for their opening World Cup match against Ghana on Thursday.

Wolverhampton Wanderers skipper Neves, one of the leaders of the changing room, dismissed any speculation that 37-year-old Ronaldo was not in peak form, saying he looked like his old self in training.

“From what I’ve seen in training, he’s in spectacular shape,” Neves said at a press conference on Sunday.

“He doesn’t worry us at all, we as a team know perfectly well what we need to work on so that each individual stands out on game day.”

“If we’re good as a team, Cristiano will be phenomenal.”

Neves also said Ronaldo’s explosive TV interview, in which the Manchester United striker said he had been betrayed by the club and was being forced out, had not been a distraction in the Portugal changing room.

He said the furore had nothing to do with the national squad.

“Sure, it’s impossible for us to walk around without been asked about the controversy, but I don’t think there’s any controversy at all between us in the changing room,” added the 25-year-old Neves.

“We have a spectacular environment right here.”

After missing Thursday’s friendly against Nigeria in Lisbon due to a stomach problem, Ronaldo trained normally on Saturday, smiling and joking with his teammates.

Portugal are in World Cup Group H with Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea. REUTERS

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