The last game of the Premier League before the six-week World Cup break was on November 13 while the quadrennia showpiece started on Sunday.
However, the main talking point in world football remains the incendiary interview Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo gave to controversial host Piers Morgan.
During that interview, the Portuguese did not hold back as he attacked the club for betraying him and the coach Erik ten Hag for disrespecting him and trying to provoke him.
CR7 interview fallout
All this has meant his future as a United player looks bleak with the club currently exploring ways by which they can cancel the striker’s contract without having to give a pay-off.
Cristiano Ronaldo on his interview: “Timing is always timing. From your side it is easy to look at how we can chose timings. Sometimes you write truths, sometimes you write lies”.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 21, 2022
In the build-up to Portugal’s first game against Ghana on Thursday, most national team players are asked about their nation’s record goalscorer and whether the team has been affected by what is going on.
And in a bid to dispel further rumours and stop the narrative from distracting his teammates, Ronaldo himself made a shock appearance at a Portugal press conference.
It was unannounced with relatively few journalists in attendance but the 37-year-old made his point crystal clear.
CR7 arrives unannounced to clear the air
He told reporters: “Timing is always timing. From your side it is easy to look at how we can chose timings.
“Sometimes you write truths, sometimes you write lies. I don’t have to worry what others think. I talk when I want to. Everybody knows who I am, what I believe in,” he said at the Al Shahaniya Sports Club.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner described himself as “bullet proof” and “iron clad” and demanded that reporters should stop asking his team-mates about the interview.
Already Bernardo Silva, Ruben Neves and United teammate Bruno Fernandes have been asked to clarify their stands.
It is clear that the dressing room has been put under unnecessary pressure ahead of the World Cup due to Ronaldo’s outburst. It remains to be seen whether his latest step aids the team or distracts them even further.