Favorites Portugal, Mexico meet early in Confederations Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Led by Cristiano Ronaldo, European champions Portugal arrived at Kazan's airport this evening, four days ahead of their FIFA Confederations Cup premiere against Mexico in the Tatarstan capital.

It is a competition that has yet to capture the football world's imagination, but when Russian Federation 2017 begins Saturday, every continental champion, plus the World Cup winners and host nation, will be attempting to win the trophy, and Ronaldo has admitted that he regards it as a cup he dreams of lifting.

With Ronaldo looking at the peak of his game, Portugal trained for the first time in Russian Federation on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) ahead of its Confederations Cup debut against Mexico on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).

Then 38, Carvalho became the oldest player in the history of the UEFA event in France previous year, and helped his team claim their first piece of major global silverware thanks to a dramatic extra-time triumph over the hosts in the showpiece in Paris.

Cristiano Ronaldo, battling accusations of tax evasion and speculation over his club future, is concentrating only on the Confederations Cup, his Portugal teammate Andre Silva said Friday.

"The Confederations Cup gives us a taste of what to expect the following year with the World Cup", said Ronny Suarez, a soccer fan Hillsborough, New Jersey, rooting for Chile this year. Portugal's Group A includes proprietors Russian Federation, as well as Mexico and New Zealand.

If you discount the Europa League on the basis that he has never played in UEFA's secondary competition, Ronaldo has won every major trophy for which he has competed with the exception of the World Cup, since leaving Sporting Lisbon for Manchester United as an 18-year-old in August 2003. The team, included in Group A, will play Mexico (in Kazan on June 18), Russian Federation (in Moscow on June 21) and New Zealand (in St. Petersburg on June 24).

Ronaldo's recent performances have left him in a strong position to catch up with Lionel Messi with a fifth world player of the year award.

Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in five games with Portugal this season.

That friendly came after the Socceroos only just scraped past Saudi Arabia 3-2 in a World Cup qualifier. Portugal will play Mexico in the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match scheduled f.

They enjoyed a 7-0 win over San Marino on Saturday, an expected result but one that will nevertheless serve as a confidence-booster for Die Mannschaft.

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

- Cristiano Ronaldo was the top scorer in this season's Champions League, finding the net 12 times, while only two players assisted more than Ronaldo (five, behind Neymar and Ousmane Dembele).

Defender Miguel Layun and midfielder Hector Herrera play for FC Porto, while forward Raul Jimenez plays for Benfica.

While manager Fernando Santos' team boast talent throughout their side, it is going forward where they truly shine.

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