FIFA World Cup 2022: Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo dismissed speculation of a rift with teammate Bruno Fernandes after a video of a ‘frosty’ handshake between the two went viral. Ronaldo explained how it was misinterpreted by a section of the football fraternity.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes have played down talks of rift (Reuters Photo)
By India Today Web Desk: Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo explained his much-publicized handshake with teammate Bruno Fernandes, playing down any animosity between the two Manchester United stars in the lead-up to FIFA World Cup 2022. Ronaldo explained the circumstances which led to the video being misinterpreted by the football fraternity after his explosive interview, slamming Manchester United and its manager Erik Ten Hag.
Cristiano Ronaldo, speaking to the press in Doha ahead of Portugal’s FIFA World Cup opener against Ghana on Thursday, said he had just asked why Bruno was late for a training session.
Speculation was rife that there was a rift between Ronaldo and Bruno after the Portugal captain had spoken out against Manchester United in the explosive interview with Piers Morgan for the British media.
“I simply made a joke with him (Bruno) because he arrived late due to his flight and I asked if he had come by boat. It was a joke and you did a storm. As it was with Joao Cancelo,” Ronaldo said.
“He was a bit upset in training after a tough dispute with Felix. I got him from his neck and said: ‘Hey man’. You know, to lift him up. ‘Come on, let’s go’. Then comes another controversy. But I am used to it.
“Everything around Cristiano is always a reason for debate and talks, we see it on the TV news. It is normal, I understand it. But I will repeat once again: the environment at the Selecao is excellent,” he added.
Notably, Bruno also cleared the air around the handshake controversy, saying he had not read Ronaldo’s interview and that all was well within the Portugal squad.
DREAM COME TRUE?
Speculation aside, Ronaldo will be keen on making a mark in Qatar, which might well prove to be his last World Cup appearance. The Euro winner said it would be a dream come true to win the World Cup for Portugal but that he would be proud of his career achievements even if the Selecao don’t end up winning the cup.
“If I had to show something at 37 years and 8 months old I would be worried. After everything, I have done and that I am still doing, after everything I have won, it would be a surprise for me. I obviously have to keep demonstrating year after year what I am, especially to me, my family and my fans.
“Everybody has opinions, I respect that. Will this World Cup be the most important competition for me? Well, one of the most important. Perhaps it is when it comes to the Selecao. I have said it before, winning it would be a dream come true. But I also repeat that in case I don’t win any other trophy by the end of my career, I would still be proud of what I have done,” Ronaldo said.