EPL

Silva focused on Portugal at World Cup after dismissing Ronaldo furore

By Sports Desk November 19, 2022

Bernardo Silva remains uninterested by Cristiano Ronaldo's scathing interview on Manchester United as Portugal aim to focus on the World Cup.

Portugal captain Ronaldo caused a stir this week in a wide-ranging interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, criticising United, senior figures at the club and current manager Erik ten Hag.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner said he felt "betrayed" by United, who he claims have made "zero progress" since Alex Ferguson departed Old Trafford in 2013.

Portugal showed no signs of distraction with a 4-0 friendly victory over Nigeria in their sole World Cup warm-up game on Thursday, and Silva says he has no interest in the ongoings with Ronaldo at United.

"The news coming from England has nothing to do with Portugal," the Manchester City midfielder said on Saturday. 

"It concerns him, I don't have to comment, it has nothing to do with me. It's not about the Selecao but about Cristiano.

"It's still for Cristiano. I am not a Manchester United player. If I were, I wouldn't answer you. It's a rival club. I have nothing to do with it.

"We are with Portugal, focused on our matches, we are not focused on Cristiano's situation with his club. So I'll answer questions about the World Cup and our team."

Ronaldo missed the Nigeria triumph through "illness", with United team-mate Bruno Fernandes scoring twice before late goals for Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario.

Silva acknowledged Portugal are somewhat reliant on the firepower of Ronaldo, but insisted Fernando Santos' side have the quality to compete without the 37-year-old.

He added: "Almost all our players play for big clubs in the best leagues. This is a team that relies on Cristiano, he's part of it of course, but when he's not here we know how to respond on the pitch as we have done lately.

"Not only in this game [against Nigeria], but also in the Nations League, in some of the qualifiers, where we responded well [to his absence]. That's what counts.

"There are 26 of us. When one is not here, another one replaces him. We will give our best to represent our country."

Fernandes appeared to give Ronaldo a frosty reception on arrival for Portugal duty before assuring there were no problems between the pair ahead of Thursday's World Cup opener against Ghana.

Silva reiterated Fernandes' viewpoint as he suggested the interview has not altered the harmony within the Portugal camp.

"I don't see any strange atmosphere between Cristiano or anyone else," he continued.

"Again, it's a matter for him and his club. I have nothing to do with it, I don't even play in it. It's a question he has to solve on his own. 

"I see him motivated for our team as we all are. One more to help our selection and help our team to achieve its goals. I don't see what the problem is. It's an individual matter that we have already talked about.

"We only talked about this in the last press conference, while Portugal has a World Cup to play that is more important.

"I understand your questions and your persistence in trying to pull out whatever it is because there is nothing."

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