Putin present to see Russia kick off Confederations Cup

The CONCACAF champions face a tough task as they face a Portugal squad that boasts world superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The New Zealand keeper made another great stop from Poloz after a swift Russian Federation counter-attack, while Alexander Samedov curled over from a free-kick as Russian Federation looked to put the result beyond doubt.

In November 2025, a new six-team playoff will decide the last two remaining spots at the 48-team USA-bound World Cup. "He is focused on what needs to be done here, and without a doubt he will have a great tournament".

"It would be a lovely thing to have on the CV".

Cristiano Ronaldo is finally getting an attacking partner he can count on.

It has been a dream last 12 months on the field for the former Manchester United man, who was a European champion at club and worldwide level in 2016. One of the most well known clubs in Russia, Spartak had to wait many years for their own stadium.

"For us it's a privilege and honour to represent our country".

"We are united in the belief that football is destined to serve the goals of public development, to unite nations and continents, to promote the values of fair and handsome play, to strengthen will and faith, to inspire, to give a dream to the younger generation", Putin said.

Russia's Fedor Smolov celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Russia and New Zealand, at the St. Petersburg Stadium, Russia on Saturday.

St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum on Thursday unveiled Achilles, a white moggy who will be offered two different plates before each game to predict the Confederations Cup results.

It is not just Ronaldo they will need to stop though - winger Bernardo Silva, who missed Euro 2016 through injury, is fresh from winning the French title with Monaco and sealing a big-money move to Manchester City. "We are looking forward to it, we are not panicking, we are not anxious", said Hudson.

"We want to win but we have to prove it; there's no point saying we're favourites". With a team well balanced by coach Fernando Santos, Portugal outscored opponents 28-4 during that streak, with five clean sheets.

The duo scored goals in the same match three other times - World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra and the Faroe Islands.

The Host of Confederations Cup looks incredibly strong so they are expected to score a couple of goals.

The match in Kazan will start at 1500 GMT and will be followed at 1800 GMT by the Group B opener between African champions Cameroon and Chile in Moscow.

Each team has won a prized championship: Germany the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil, Portugal the Euro just a year ago and Chile the Copa America in 2015.

The Group A first stage match will be Russia's Confederations Cup debut, and it will come in front of a home crowd that has already sent thousands of fans to practices ahead of the tournament.

This post was syndicated from Vanguard News.

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