Ronaldo attracting the headlines after report he might leave

Vera Alohno

"Both teams have great players, it will be a tough match".

The European and South American champions are the favourites to reach the final on July 2 in St Petersburg given that world champions Germany are in Russian Federation with many untested players.

Portugal players stretch during an official training session at the Rubin Training Ground in Kazan, Russia, on Friday, June 16, 2017.

Having won the first global title of his illustrious career with Portugal at Euro 2016, Ronaldo has a realistic chance of bringing the Confederations Cup home.

Ronaldo was making the headlines on Friday because of a report that said he wants to leave Real Madrid and Spain following allegations that he defrauded the country's tax authorities. Even with Marquez here this time for this tournament (Marquez was off the teamsheet for the Chile game as he left the Mexico camp for the birth of his son), if Mexico is to make a run in the Confederations Cup, the responsibility of success will fall on Mexico's big names and stars.

The match in Kazan will start at 1500 GMT and will be followed at 1800 GMT by the Group B opener between African champions Cameroon and Chile in Moscow.

Portugal, which made it to the tournament after beating host France in the Euro 2016 final, is in Group A along with Russia, New Zealand and Mexico.

It is the 10th edition of the competition at which the six continental federation champions are joined by the hosts and the World Cup holders.


The undoubted star attraction, Ronaldo, 32, arrives in Russian Federation looking to round off another stellar season after leading Real Madrid to a first La Liga title for five years.

"Ronaldo is motivated", young Portugal forward Andre Silva said.

The news of his possible departure attracted the attention of worldwide media covering Portugal at the eight-nation competition that serves as a warm-up for next year's World Cup. But Ronaldo, 32, appeared fully focused while training with P o r t u g a l f o r S u n d a y 's Confederations Cup opener against Mexico in Russian Federation and later took to Instagram to post a picture with his finger to his lips - suggesting now was not the time to comment.

A good performance at the Confederations Cup will virtually secure him a fifth world player of the year award, equaling Lionel Messi.

Mexico, who drew 1-1 at home to the United States in World Cup qualifying last weekend, will look to Real Sociedad's Carlos Vela and Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez for inspiration. Portugal will play against Mexico in a Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match sche.

Portugal won 2-1 the only time it faced Mexico in an official match, in the group stage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He has won five league titles, four UEFA Champions League titles and one UEFA European Championship, as well as four European Golden Shoes.

After a disgusting season with Porto and Mexico, Hector Herrera has found his form for Mexico in the midfield the last few matches. Russian Federation is the eight team to qualify, as they are hosts and automatically do so.

Mexico's squad has three players who have close connections to Portugal.

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