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Confederations Cup: New Zealand Not Scared Of Ronaldo



Of the eight teams in the FIFA Confederations Cup, only New Zealand are technically eliminated ahead of the last group matches this weekend.

The remaining seven have varying degrees of possibilities of getting into the semi finals, even though the odds weighed in favour of the top two of both groups.

But despite the elimination of his team, New Zealand’s coach, Anthony Hudson who beat the existing record of Nigeria’s Amodu Shaibu as the youngest coach to take a team to the competition, is still talking tough.

He declared that his team is not scared of the famous Cristiano Ronaldo as New Zealand prepares to face Portugal on Saturday afternoon.

Even though it is been speculated that Ronaldo might be rested, the 36-year-old Hudson remarked: “For me Ronaldo is the best player in the world but if you take him out you still have world class players in there.


“We’ve seen everything tried [to stop Ronaldo] but it’s not as though if you deal with Ronaldo that’s it. They still have Nani, Ricardo Quaresma in the team.”

“I see this as another game that we want to approach with the mindset of being organised, having the right mentality and we want to get a result.

“We’re not looking up to the opposition, we could be playing whoever. We know Portugal are world class and they pose different problems to Mexico, but we are going to come to this game with the same mentality.

“This tournament is important for us, every game we can constantly review and we don’t always get that luxury.

“We want to keep improving but we also know we are playing against the world’s best teams and, while we will always back ourselves – there is no shred of doubt in our squad, we also need to understand there is a huge gulf in class.


“Every player will give their absolute all. We won’t just try to keep the scoreline respectable, we want to come out and win the game. Not one person is overawed, we are looking forward to the game.”


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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