Portugal try to put Ronaldo to one side and switch focus on to Ghana

Coach Fernando Santos says squad are as integrated as they have been in years despite the enduring soap operaFernando Santos puffed out his cheeks, ran his palm down his face and said a thousand words in one slightly exaggerated expression. To his left, Bruno Fernandes was fielding another question about the storm surrounding a clubless Cristiano Ronaldo, this time wondering whether Manchester United could possibly feel the same when domestic football resumes. Fernandes dealt with it as he had the previous few: his teammate’s departure was a personal issue, one to be respected and after all nothing lasts for ever.The final word on the matter? It almost certainly was not as Santos, who was far more interested in amplifying the threat of Thursday’s opponents, Ghana, when his turn to answer came around, knew perfectly well. But the veteran coach appreciates the importance of a strong run, as a minimum,and was at pains to minimise the effect of his preening superstar’s enduring soap opera.

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