Ghana boss Otto Addo dismissed talk that the continuing fallout from Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational Manchester United departure earlier this week could distract his side ahead of their World Cup opener with Portugal.
The German-born Ghanaian coach admitted ‘I don’t care’ when asked about the effect Ronaldo’s situation might have, and reiterated that it had no bearing on his side’s will to beat the former European champions.
A 67-word statement from United confirmed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s exit on Tuesday evening, following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, and he will be paid none of the £16million he might have expected in compensation.
Ghana prepare to take on Portugal – who are huge favourites to take all three points in the tie – on Thursday afternoon.
Asked about the impact of Ronaldo’s departure from the club, Ghana boss Addo admitted: ‘ I don’t know and to be honest I don’t care. This is not our problem and I don’t think it’s a big problem.
‘Everybody wants to win and no matter what happens it’s a big stage a big game at the World Cup level. So I don’t think normally this can disrupt anybody.’
The announcement that the forward had left United was made official after a short and economically-worded statement was issued by the club.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,’ it read.
‘The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future.
‘Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.’
Ronaldo can become the first player to ever score at five World Cups with a goal on Thursday, pulling ahead of the likes of Pele, Uwe Seeler, Lionel Messi and Miroslav Klose, who are tied on four competitions.
Ghana come into the tournament in Qatar on relatively poor form, having only won twice since defeating Comoros 3-1 at the African Cup of Nations in January, before two victories in the run up to the World Cup.
The Black Stars managed a 1-0 win over minnows Nicaragua and a 2-0 victory against Switzerland to improve what had been a hugely lean year for one of Africa’s historically stronger sides.
They have been drawn alongside Uruguay, South Korea and of course Ronaldo’s Portugal in Group H.