Bernardo Silva believes Cristiano Ronaldo is still capable of playing at the highest level, despite his struggles for Manchester United this season.
The forward left the Red Devils by mutual consent this week, following that explosive interview with Piers Morgan where he criticised the club’s owners, players and manager. In his first game since that acrimonious exit, Ronaldo opened the scoring from the spot as Portugal beat Ghana 3-2 at the 2022 World Cup. But finding the back of the net has not been a regular occurrence for the 37-year-old in recent months and Ronaldo scored just three times for United in the first period of the season, with only one coming in the Premier League. Despite that, Silva feels his international team-mate is still able to perform in football’s upper echelons.
“I think so [Ronaldo is capable of playing at the top level]. It depends on what he wants for his life. He needs to speak with his family and [make a decision] for himself,” said the Manchester City midfielder. “It’s his decision, that’s the decision of the club that needs to offer him a contract because now he’s free. We will see, it is his decision.
“Yeah I support his decision,” Silva added. “It is his decision and he is my team-mate in Portugal. If he is happy, we are happy.
“He [Ronaldo] worked very well [against Ghana] and I am very happy to know him,” the 28-year-old said. “We knew it before and we are happy to know we can still count on him, not just for the goal, he worked a lot for the team. I’m happy with the three points, happy with the win and it’s very important to start with a win.”
Portugal began the World Cup with a less-than-convincing victory over Ghana, with Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Rafael Leao finding the back of the net for the 2016 European champions, while Andre Ayew and Osman Bukari scored for the Ghanians. Fernando Santos’ men are next in action on Monday when they face Uruguay, where a win will secure their passage to the last-16 of the competition in Qatar.