Confederations Cup Preview: Groups And Game Times

"The fact the leader of the country came to the match is on the one hand an additional positive, but it is also an additional responsibility", Russian Federation manager Stanislav Cherchesov, whose team face Portugal on Wednesday, told reporters.

Coach Fernando Santos and some of Ronaldo's teammates are confident the star forward won't be affected by the buzz created by a report that said he wants to leave the Spanish club because of allegations that he defrauded the country's tax authorities.

The Portuguese sports daily A Bola published a front-page story Friday saying that Ronaldo was upset with the accusations made against him and that his decision was "irreversible".

"And we naturally want to achieve better results than our team showed recently". They're going to be a team to keep a close eye on in the Confederations Cup, because it looks possible that New Zealand will be in the World Cup next summer, as well. Chile is ranked fourth, but lacks the same tradition as Portugal and Mexico and has struggled in South American qualifying.

/TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. The Russian national football team deserved 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the opening match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, New Zealand's attacking midfielder Marco Rojas told TASS. On the other hand, Group B is composed of 2014 World Cup champions Germany, 2015 AFC Cup champions Australia, 2015 Copa America winners Chile and Cameroon, the 2017 Africa Cup Nations champions.

Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary-general Fatma Samoura said that curbing problems now is "exactly the whole purpose" of anti-discrimination work at the World Cup rehearsal tournament.

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Iceland were big outsiders at last year's European Championships in France but became the Cinderella story. "Mexico is a very good side", Rojas concluded.

"The first priority is to develop the team and the second to win the title".

Bierhoff said he would like to see the young team come together for World Cup title defence next year in Russian Federation. With a team well balanced by coach Fernando Santos, Portugal outscored opponents 28-4 during that streak, with five clean sheets.

The sporting halfway house that is the Confederations Cup begins this weekend, prompting the same question for football fans around the world.

New Zealand, though, haven't exactly set the world alight in their warm-up matches, producing a solid display in a 1-0 loss to Northern Ireland before going down by the same margin with a disjointed and disappointing effort against Belarus.

Degenek, who played his formative years in Germany before moving to Japan in January, will be tasked with helping neutralise his threat, but is unfazed by the challenge.

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