6/9/2018 9:47:37 PM (GMT+3)

Ronaldo's Portugal arrive with a ray of hope


MOSCOW: Portugal would want their talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo to be in blazing form in what would be his last World Cup if they are to progress to the Round of 16 and further.

The team arrived here on Saturday for their final preparations in their World Cup campaign that pits them against arch-rivals Spain.

Fernando Santos’s side will have to be in their best form when they face Spain in the opening match in Sochi on Friday.

The Portuguese were thrashed 4-0 by eventual champions Germany in Brazil fours years ago that had set the tone for a dismal group stage exit.

Ronaldo and his compatriots received a traditional Russian welcome during a bread and salt ceremony upon arrival at their team base camp in Kratovo, a leafy village 40km southeast from here.

The Real Madrid star was the last player off the team bus escorted by police to the team's tournament headquarters after touching down at Zhukosvky Airport near here.

Portugal, who are In Group B with Morocco and Iran, are scheduled to hold their first team session on Sunday.