Andre Silva: Cristiano Ronaldo "focused" on Confederations Cup

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Group B has Germany, Chile, Australia and Cameroon. We know these days that possession of the ball is the most important thing.

Ronaldo is now away on worldwide duty with European champions Portugal, who kick off their Confederations Cup campaign against Mexico on Sunday afternoon, and Silva is confident that his teammate is "motivated" to achieve more success with the Selecao.

"He is concentrating on playing for the national team and he wants to give the motivation to have a good tournament".

Russian Federation made sure of victory in the second half, with Fyodor Smolov's third goal in four internationals ensuring president Vladimir Putin, who called for improved performances in the event, was applauding happily in the stands.

"The game didn't go how we wanted to go", New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson acknowledged.

"It's a high-profile match", Mexico forward Hirving Lozano said. After that, Portugal and Mexico will square off at the Kazan Arena at 11 a.m. ET. The teams drew 0-0 in a friendly in 1969, and in 2014 Portugal won 1-0 in another exhibition match.

"Regarding Ronaldo, he is motivated, and what I can see is that he is taking the competition very seriously and is totally dedicated to training and thinking about the next game against Mexico", Silva told reporters ahead of the European champions' opening game. "Both teams have great players, it will be a tough match".

"It is the first step to the English Premier League now", Cherchesov said in English as he looked across to his also-smiling forward at a news conference.

New Zealand is now without a win in four trips to the Confederations Cup, and next plays Mexico on Wednesday in Sochi.

Russian Federation were on the front foot early and had two chances cleared off the line in the opening 10 minutes.

Russia's opening goal had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball.

After New Zealand lost possession in a risky area, Poloz's neat touch released Glushakov, who clipped his finish over Marinovic and off the post before Boxall bundled the ball into his own net as he and Smith frantically tried to clear.

"This is the final word on Cristiano", Santos said, about halfway through his appearance in front of the media.

But it is also an opportunity for coach Stanislav Cherchesov and his side to show what they can do on the pitch, although they will face far greater tests in their next two outings than what New Zealand provided here.

A Confederations Cup trophy, never mind a World Cup title, might be too much to ask even for Putin, But Saturday was a start.

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