Cristiano Ronaldo will aim to put his painful Manchester United divorce behind him at the World Cup on Thursday as Brazil also make their bow following a win for Switzerland in the early kick-off.
Ronaldo's preparations for what is likely to be his last World Cup have been overshadowed by his sudden departure from Old Trafford this week after he lambasted the club in a TV interview.
The Portugal superstar's form this season has been poor but he is still hoping for a final shot at glory in Qatar after leading his team to the Euro 2016 title.
The 37-year-old, whose club future is uncertain, is aiming to become the first player in history to score at five World Cups.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos said his men were entirely focused on their opening Group H match against Ghana despite the distractions of the media circus surrounding their captain.
"The players are absolutely focused, with a great spirit, convinced about what they have to do, what their objectives are and realistic about the challenges they are facing," he said.
"Winning a competition of this magnitude is difficult."
World Cup favourites Brazil launch their bid for a record-extending sixth global crown against a dangerous Serbia side.
Brazil boast a frightening array of attacking talent including Paris Saint-German forward Neymar and Real Madrid pair Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
Coach Tite will be wary of his Group G opponents after witnessing shock defeats for Argentina and Germany already in Qatar.
"In my opinion these players (attackers) will help Neymar because they can divide up the responsibility and create space for him," said veteran Brazil skipper Thiago Silva.
"The atmosphere in the squad is super-healthy," he added. "The mixture of young players and more experienced ones creates a great connection."
Serbia appear a more dangerous proposition than four years ago, when they also faced Brazil in the group stage but lost 2-0 and exited in the first round.
"We are afraid of nobody in the world, not even Brazil," said Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic, who hopes prolific Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will be fit for the match at the Lusail Stadium.
Switzerland and Cameroon, also in Brazil's group, kicked off Thursday's action in Qatar, with the Swiss winning 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Cameroon-born Breel Embolo.
The forward struck three minutes into the second half at Al Janoub Stadium as Switzerland secured a vital three points.
Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler worked the ball out wide on the right to Xherdan Shaqiri, whose low cross into the area was swept home by an unmarked Embolo, who chose not to celebrate against his birth country.
"It's quite special for him because of his links to Cameroon -- I'm very happy he's playing for us," said Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer. "He's always right there when you need him."
Defeat condemned Cameroon to their eighth straight loss at World Cups -- a miserable run stretching all the way back to 2002.
Son Heung-min was named in the starting line-up for South Korea's Group H opener against Uruguay at 1300 GMT even though he was wearing a mask after suffering a fracture around his left eye earlier this month.
Uruguay coach Diego Alonso selected Luis Suarez up front, with fellow veteran Edinson Cavani on the bench.
Germany coach Hansi Flick said no member of his team was safe after their shock 2-1 defeat against Japan on Wednesday.
The four-time champions, who next face Spain, are facing a nightmare scenario of a second consecutive group-stage exit after their early departure in Russia in 2018.
"You can understand that we are discussing every matter of personnel and every position," Flick said.
The San Diego Padres have shocked the baseball world yet again with a player acquisition. A monster contract and the Padres, after missing Trea Turner and Aaron Judge, get the longtime Red Sox shortstop. — Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) December 7, 2022Momentum between the Red Sox and Xander Bogaerts according to a source. The Padres viewed Xander Bogaerts as perhaps the best hitter among this free-agent class' top shortstops. — Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) December 8, 2022Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, while Judge signed a nine-year, $360 million deal to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday.11 minutes ago The Comeback
SAN JOSE – Sharks coach David Quinn made the somewhat unexpected decision Wednesday night to replace starting goalie Kaapo Kahkonen with rookie Eetu Makiniemi. San Jose Sharks' Jonah Gadjovich (42) takes a shot against Vancouver Canucks' Quinn Hughes (43) in the first period at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)San Jose Sharks goaltender Eetu Makiniemi (32) blocks a shot in front of against Vancouver Canucks' Andrei Kuzmenko (96) in overtime at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Vancouver Canucks' Elias Pettersson (40) is congratulated on his game winning goal, 6-5, by Vancouver Canucks' Curtis Lazar (20) against the San Jose Sharks in overtime at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)San Jose Sharks goaltender Eetu Makiniemi (32) stands on the ice as he waits for overtime to start against the Vancouver Canucks at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.23 minutes ago The Mercury News
Simone Fontecchio dunked with 1.4 seconds remaining off Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s steal and the Utah Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors 124-123 on Wednesday night in a matchup of short-handed teams. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins sat out for Golden State, while Utah was missing Lauri Markkanen and Mike Conley. Jordan Poole tied a season high with 36 points for Golden State and Jonathan Kuminga had a season-high 24. We were neither of those things the last 13 seconds,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. … Golden State scored 20 points off 17 Utah turnovers.26 minutes ago The Press Democrat
Staffers are also urging readers to express solidarity with their cause by boycotting Times products for the day — including the addictive Wordle game. It’s the first major walkout at the Times since 1981 — a work stoppage that lasted for just six-and-a-half hours. In 2017, Times staffers staged a brief, lunchtime walkout to protest staff cuts and other changes to copy-editing operations. AdvertisementThe dispute comes as several media companies are laying off employees, citing a challenging economic environment. Times employees said they rescheduled interviews and delayed work on major projects in advance of the walkout.1 hour ago The Washington Post
The Celtics took a 31-21 lead after one quarter over the cold-shooting Suns, who missed all eight of their 3-point attempts. Brown led the Celtics with 17 points in the first half, while Tatum scored had 14. The Suns welcomed back All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who missed the past 14 games with a sore right heel. Seth Curry added 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting to help the Nets won for the fifth time in six games. Dillon Brooks added 24 points and Brandon Clarke finished with 17 points as the Grizzlies won their season-best fourth straight.1 hour ago The Washington Post
Wednesday’s matchup between the Buffalo Sabres and the Columbus Blue Jackets featured one of the greatest performances in recent memory for Sabres winger Tage Thompson. 🙌 THE YEAR OF TAGE 🙌 Tage Thompson has his second @enterprise hat trick of the season as part of a FIVE-POINT first period. It ties an NHL record for the most goals in any period, and it’s the second-fastest four-goal period to begin a game in NHL history. This performance moved Thompson into third in the NHL with 20 goals on the year, and fourth in total points with 39. Tage Thompson was asked after the game about his performance, where he issued a very humble answer.1 hour ago The Comeback
So city of SF attacks companies providing beds for tired employees instead of making sure kids are safe from fentanyl. When i was at google this was a common thing that all employees really appreciated. One of the other rooms even has a bright orange carpeting, a queen bed, two office armchairs, wooden bedside table and more.There are around four to eight special rooms with beds per floor. According to a report in Forbes, one source at Twitter said that no prior announcement was made about the social network adding special rooms with beds and mattresses. When i was at google this was a common thing that all employees really appreciated.1 hour ago The Economic Times
Students, read the entire article, then tell us:What, in your opinion, makes a great gift? Conversely, what makes a terrible gift? What’s the best or most memorable gift you’ve received? What’s the worst gift you have received? Have you ever gotten a gift that left you confused, feeling insulted or wondering if the giver knew you at all?2 hours ago The New York Times