2 months ago
2 months ago
Ghana's captain believes Cristiano Ronaldo's sideshow won't hurt Portugal.
Ghana's captain Andre Ayew has announced his Group H opener against Portugal as Cristiano Ronaldo's embarrassing exit from Manchester United prompted his side to be 'brave' at Stadium 974 on Thursday. I don't think it will affect
Cristiano Ronaldo announced on Tuesday that he is leaving the club at Old Trafford by mutual consent after issuing an official statement to United officials and manager Eric ten Hag. But Ayew said it shouldn't be a distraction for Portugal.
"What happens with the Portuguese team is not our problem," the 32-year-old told reporters on Wednesday. "They are all great professionals who play for the first team and are ready for the World Cup no matter what happens."
Tunisia and Morocco have already managed to increase their European opponents at this World Cup, and there is no reason why Ghana can't do the same or better, Ayew said.
“We go into this game with the Portuguese favorites on paper, but we have to show that what is happening on the pitch is more important. We are playing against a big team with top players. But we believe in ourselves and it will be very difficult for them.
"When you play the first game of a tournament, it's never going to be the deciding game. No matter what happens, you still have a chance to get over it.
“The first game is a game that you can be brave and try. Getting something [from the game] will be a nice bonus for us.”
Ayew and his younger brother Jordan are the only survivors of the Ghana side's 2-1 loss to Portugal in the final group stage match of 2014, when Ronaldo scored the winner with ten minutes remaining.