Mensah upbeat about facing Ronaldo

Ghana defender Gideon Mensah is excited by the prospect of meeting Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo when Ghana face Portugal at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Otto Addo’s side have been drawn against Fernando Santos’ outfit for what will be like a re-match of their encounter at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Eight years ago, Ronaldo made his presence felt in the showdown, scoring the match winner in the 80th minute after Asamoah Gyan netted to cancel out John Boye’s own goal for the Selecao.

“Facing Ronaldo is something I look forward to. I [have not met] him at the club side but now I have the chance to meet him in the World Cup which is the highest stage,” Mensah, who featured in both games as Ghana beat Nigeria in the play-offs to qualify for the World Cup, told Joy Sports.

“I know I will have to do my thing and defend him [Ronaldo], so I have to make it look like this is a game for me.

“When I played against [Lionel] Messi, it was difficult because he is something else. He [Messi] gave me pain in my waist after one turn in Paris but I am waiting to see what Ronaldo will try and do to me.

“Maybe it could be what I will do to Ronaldo instead, I will make sure I make him [Ronaldo] run.”

Uruguay and South Korea are Ghana’s other group members for the November 21-December 18 tournament.

Black Stars assistant coach Mas-Ud Didi Dramani is unfazed by their tricky draw on their return to the global gathering following their absence in 2018.

“We never expected anything less than this. Whatever it is, we expected to be drawn against other tough opponents apart from African teams,” Dramani told Graphic Sports.

“I think the most important thing is planning and preparation. There are no minnows in football anymore.

“What is required to ensure success is the right personnel and a good strategy.”

Ghana are set to take on Portugal in their opening game of the World Cup at Doha’s Stadium 974 on December 24.

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