Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was all smiles during training for his team's World Cup 2022 opener against Ghana on Thursday despite the turmoil in his professional life.
Ronaldo's preparation for what is most likely his last World Cup has been overshadowed by his bitter departure from Manchester United.
It was announced late on Tuesday that the 37-year-old will leave Old Trafford with "immediate effect" in the aftermath of an outspoken interview with broadcaster Piers Morgan in which he said he felt "betrayed" by the club and had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.
His club form this season has been poor but he is still hoping for a final shot at World Cup glory. Portugal will be expected to start with a victory at Stadium 974 against a Ghana side who sit 61st in world rankings.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos claimed that Ronaldo's exit from United has not affected preparations.
"The players are absolutely focused, with a great spirit, convinced about what they have to do, what their objectives are and realistic about the challenges they are facing," Santos said.
"Winning a competition of this magnitude is difficult."
The match between Portugal and Ghana begins at 8pm UAE time.