Bernardo Silva insisted that the atmosphere around Portugal at the World Cup was “top, top, top”, despite the growing controversy sparked by a recent interview with Cristiano Ronaldo in England.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner and top scorer in men’s football history, Ronaldo criticized his club Manchester United and manager Erik ten Hag earlier this week in a conversation with TalkTV.
Questions about Ronaldo dominated Silva’s press conference and the Manchester City midfielder was reluctant to elaborate, though he said the striker was focused and motivated.
“The news from England has nothing to do with the national team,” Silva said.
“This has nothing to do with me either, so I won’t comment. I am not a Manchester United player, even if I were, I would not answer. This is a rival club, it does not concern me. .”
However, Silva repeatedly asked about Ronaldo and if there was any tension in the camp after he seemed to share a cold chat with teammate Bruno Fernandez, Silva replied.
“I don’t see any strange atmosphere in our team between Cristiano and another player.
“That’s his business, which he has to decide individually with the right person.”
“I am a motivated and driven Ronaldo like everyone else and he is just another player here to help our country and national team.
“There is a lot of talk about this topic, but we have to play the World Cup. I don’t understand persistence because there’s nothing there.”
Portugal shone in a 4-1 victory over Nigeria without Ronaldo, but Silva said it was normal that the team could function normally without their talisman.
“Obviously he is part of the team, but when he is not, we know how to react. Whenever he was not around, we reacted well. We are ready”.
“We are 26 people, it doesn’t matter if it’s one person or another (playing).”
Ronaldo is due to appear for his fifth World Cup and Euro 2016 winners. Portugal will start their campaign against Ghana on November 24 and then face Uruguay and South Korea.