SOCHI. — Cristiano Ronaldo will launch his latest and probably last attempt to crown his career with a World Cup soccer winner’s medal when European champions Portugal face neighbours Spain in their opening World Cup game here tonight. The match kicks-off at 8pm.
The 33-year-old will lock horns with six of his Real Madrid team-mates as the Spaniards attempt to shrug off the shock sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui following the announcement that he will take over at the Bernabeu next month. It is worth wondering what Ronaldo might have known of Lopetegui’s imminent appointment at Real, given the relationship both have with Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, at a time when the forward’s own club future remains the source of speculation. But now, amid all that, Ronaldo’s focus is on the World Cup, the one major honour still missing from his CV.
It is a stretch to make Portugal one of the favourites to win the trophy, even with Ronaldo, but they are nevertheless in Russia as the reigning European champions after surprising France on home soil two years ago. — AFP.