Andre Silva will relish playing with “the best in the world” Cristiano Ronaldo if he is picked to start alongside the Real Madrid star for Portugal against Morocco at the World Cup.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos opted to pair Goncalo Guedes with Ronaldo from kick-off in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain in Sochi, where the captain of the Euro 2016 winner netted a stunning 88th-minute free-kick to deny one of the favourites, which was reeling from the shock sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament.
Ronaldo, 33, became the oldest scorer of a hat-trick in World Cup history and just the fourth player to find the back of the net at four different editions of the tournament. And should Santos elevate Silva to the starting XI, the AC Milan forward knows he will be privileged to link up with one of the game's greats.
Suarez set for 100th cap
Luis Suarez is set to win his 100th Uruguay cap as he bids to make amends for past World Cup misdemeanours against a Saudi Arabia side still reeling from a thrashing in its opening fixture.
Its opponent in Rostov on Wednesday will be Saudi Arabia, which proved unexpectedly hapless in suffering a 5-0 thrashing against the relatively unfancied host in the event’s curtain-raiser in Moscow last week.
Uruguay was less impressive in its fixture, and needed Jose Gimenez’s 89th-minute goal to snatch all three points against Egypt, which did not risk the recovering Mohamed Salah.
Guillermo Varela was among Uruguay’s most consistent performers in the narrow victory in Ekaterinburg, and the Penarol right-back is not worried about Suarez’s below-par display.
Spain searching for first win
Isco has praised interim Spain coach Fernando Hierro for having the wisdom not to make significant changes since taking the reins from the sacked Julen Lopetegui, as it aims to get its first World Cup win against Iran on Wednesday.
Hierro was thrown into the deep end after being appointed just before the finals started, replacing Lopetegui, who was fired for accepting a future role at Real Madrid without telling the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
His first game in charge saw Spain's World Cup opener end in a brilliant 3-3 draw with Portugal, though the scoreline perhaps did not tell the full story, as the European champion was helped by a rare David de Gea error and an exquisite late Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick.
- Group B: Portugal vs Morocco, 1730 IST, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
- Group A: Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia, 2030 IST, Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
- Group B: Iran vs Spain, 2330 IST, Kazan Arena, Kazan.
All matches will be telecast live on SONY Ten 2, SONY Ten 3 and SONY ESPN.