Confederations Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo says Portugal 'were the better side' vs Russia
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo dribbles during the Confed Cup match vs Russia on Wednesday. Pic/AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo said Portugal were worthy winners after scoring his first goal of the Confederations Cup to steer his country to a 1-0 victory over hosts Russia on Wednesday.
The Real Madrid star brushed off the tax storm clouding his club future by heading in the only goal in Moscow after just eight minutes to send the Euro 2016 champions above Russia at the top of Group A.
"We're very happy, it's the first time Portugal have won in Russia. The team played very well against a side playing at home with the support of their fans. But we were better, we had more chances," said Ronaldo. "We won, we have four points and you have to congratulate our team," added the 32-year-old, named man of the match for the second time in the tournament.
Group rivals Mexico and New Zealand meet later in Sochi. The Portuguese camp had insisted ahead of this game that their skipper was focused solely on matters on the field in Russia despite the speculation surrounding his future at Real. He has been accused by Spanish authorities of evading 14.7 million euros ($16.5m) in tax and has been summoned to appear in court next month in Madrid.
Despite the off-field disruption, Ronaldo picked up the man-of-the-match award in Portugal's opening 2-2 draw with Mexico on Sunday.
He was all smiles after netting his first goal of the tournament inside eight minutes at the home of Spartak Moscow. Raphael Guerreiro's towering cross from the left flank hung in the air and found Ronaldo, who rose at the far post to head back across Igor Akinfeev.
It was a miserable start for the Russian skipper, who was making his 100th international appearance.
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