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Otto Addo dismisses discussion Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from United could distract Ghana ahead of Portugal game

Ghana manager Otto Addo dismissed rumors that the lingering fallout from Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational departure from Manchester United earlier this week could distract his side ahead of their World Cup opener against Portugal.

When asked what the impact of Ronaldo’s situation might be, the Ghanaian-German-born coach admitted: “I don’t care,” repeating that it has no bearing on his side’s will to beat the former European champions.

A 67-word statement from United confirmed the exit of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner on Tuesday night following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan and he will not receive any of the £16million he would have expected in compensation.

Ghana are preparing to face Portugal, who are the big favorites for all three points in the tie, on Thursday afternoon.

Asked about the impact of Ronaldo’s departure from the club, Ghana boss Aldo admitted: “I don’t know and to be honest I don’t care either. That’s not our problem and I don’t think it’s a big problem.

“Everyone wants to win and no matter what, it’s a big stage, a big game at World Cup level. So I don’t think this can normally bother anyone.

The announcement that the forward has left United was made official after the club issued a brief and sparsely worded statement.

“Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United by mutual consent with immediate effect,” it said.

“The club thank him for his immense contribution in two terms at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 games, and wish him and his family all the best for the future.

“Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the progress of the team under Erik ten Hag and working together to succeed on the pitch.”

Ronaldo could become the first player to score in five World Cups on Thursday, putting him ahead of the likes of Pele, Uwe Seeler, Lionel Messi and Miroslav Klose, who are tied on points in four competitions.

Ghana enter the tournament in Qatar on relatively weak form, having only won twice since beating Comoros 3-1 at the Africa Cup of Nations in January before claiming two victories in the run-up to the World Cup.

The Black Stars managed a 1-0 win over Minnows Nicaragua and a 2-0 win over Switzerland to improve on an extremely lean year for one of Africa’s historically stronger sides.

They were drawn in Group H alongside Uruguay, South Korea and of course Ronaldo’s Portugal.

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