Ronaldo an example for all Portugal, insists Patricio

Speculation persists over Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid future but Rui Patricio says he remains an inspiration to Portugal.

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Portugal   -  Getty Images

Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio insists speculation over Cristiano Ronaldo's future will not have an impact on its Confederations Cup campaign.

Ronaldo has been linked with a sensational move away from Real Madrid amid reports he has told the club he no longer wants to play in Spain.

The rumours have emerged in the wake of an official legal complaint made by Spanish prosecutors in which Ronaldo was accused of a "voluntary" and "conscious" breach of his tax obligations, totalling EUR 14.7 million. The 32-year-old has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos launched a stern defence of his captain ahead of his side's opening Group A match against Mexico in Kazan on Sunday, and team-mate Patricio says the Madrid star remains "an example" to the whole squad.

"No, it won't change anything," he said of the transfer speculation. "Cristiano is concentrated 100 per cent on helping the team, he's an example to all of us, a great athlete. I'm sure he will have a great Confederations Cup. He's completely concentrated and he will help the Portuguese team."

Portugal earned a place in the finals in Russia after winning Euro 2016 last year, and with world champion Germany having left out a number of star players for its campaign, many have backed Santos' side as favourite for the trophy. Patricio, however, says there is little point in assigning such tags.

"We're here to win this tournament but we want to make the most of our experience here. Obviously we will do our best and our objective is to win," said the Sporting CP keeper. "We want to win but we have to prove it; there's no point saying we're favourites. We have to be ready for anything that might turn up during the game. If it's not possible to play well, the most important thing is to win. We are more than motivated. A cup of this nature means we're all happy and extremely motivated. Not every national team can be here. We're totally focused on the game. It's a very short tournament and we have to concentrate 100 per cent on each game."

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