Cristiano Ronaldo still has what it takes to play at the top level of club football, says Bernardo Silva, who insisted it was none of his business what his Portugal team-mate decided for his future.
Ronaldo scored Portugal’s opener in a 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday – a goal that sparked the match at Stadium 974 into life, as well as making the 37-year-old the first player to score at five different World Cups.
Having left Manchester United by mutual agreement earlier this week, Ronaldo was the focus of the Group H clash and stepped up to lash home a penalty he won midway through the second half.
Andre Ayew swiftly equalised for Ghana but quickfire goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao settled the contest, despite Osman Bukari’s header setting up a grandstand finish.
Asked if Ronaldo would move to another leading club, Manchester City playmaker Silva told reporters: “That’s his decision, that’s the decision of the club that needs to offer him a contract, because now he’s a free agent. That’s his business, not mine.”
On whether Ronaldo could still cut his teeth at the highest level, Silva said: “Yeah I think so, I think so.
“It depends on what he wants. I don’t know what he wants with his life. He has to speak to his family and decide what he wants for his life.
“I support his decision in terms of it’s his decision. He’s my team-mate with Portugal. If he feels happy, we’re happy.
“He worked really well. We knew it before – we know we can still count on him, not just with the goal but he worked very hard for the team.”
5 – Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to score five in different editions of the World Cup (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022). Limitless. pic.twitter.com/w6noDKxoVR
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 24, 2022
On Wednesday, Ronaldo’s former United team-mate Bruno Fernandes said it was a “dream come true” to have played with the forward at club level, as well as for Portugal.
Fernandes quipped after the Ghana game that Ronaldo thrives on proving his doubters wrong.
“I think Cristiano likes to work under that criticism from everyone, so I pray for all of you to keep doing that, so it gets the best of him when you guys do that,” Fernandes told reporters.
“I said already, he is one of the players I looked up to when I was a kid. It was a dream come true in the national team, I did it at a club also – that’s something amazing.
“I still share the space with him in the national team and the main thing for me is that Portugal in this World Cup does the best we can.
“If we do that, Cristiano will be happy, I will be happy, everyone will be happy.”