KAZAN, Russia – 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 on Friday.
“He takes this tournament very seriously and is focused. He is motivated, just like me,” said the 21-year-old Silva at a news conference in Kazan ahead of Portugal’s opening Confederations Cup match against Mexico on Sunday.
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Portugal coach Fernando Santos and Cristiano Ronaldo during practice in Kazan, Russia on Friday. Photo: Mario Cruz, EPA
“He is concentrating on playing for the national team, and he wants to give the motivation to have a good tournament.”
Ronaldo insisted on Wednesday he had a “clear conscience” after Spanish prosecutors accused the Real Madrid star of evading €14.7 million in tax through offshore companies.
“Conscience clear, always,” Ronaldo told reporters at Lisbon airport as he and his Portuguese teammates prepared to fly out to Russia.
Real Madrid also gave their backing to Ronaldo, releasing a statement saying the club had “full confidence in our player Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted in accordance with the legality regarding compliance with his tax obligations”.