With the World Cup just days away, the build up to this tournament has been a little different to previous editions.
Individual players and their scandals threatening to steal the thunder is nothing new, however.
This time around it is Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe who have arguably been grabbing the most headlines.
Both seem to have a similar problem: a bad relationship with their club.
Ronaldo not holding back
Cristiano Ronaldo has been all over the news and social media in recent days with his scathing comments about Manchester United and their head coach Erik Ten Hag.
The Portugal forward hasn’t been biting his tongue and club directors and fans alike could be facing a long international break to stew over his criticisms.
There will likely be consequences for the player himself, of course, with the Red Devils weighing up a massive fine.
The financial aspect won’t worry Ronaldo, but perhaps the way the news affects his relationship with his teammates might.
Bad blood in Portugal camp
Indeed, CR7 didn’t have to wait until his return to Manchester to see just how his interview with Piers Morgan had gone down with his fellow United players.
On entering the Portugal dressing room, Bruno Fernandes had a frosty welcome for his teammate for club and country.
Fernandes himself later made light of the situation on social media, but fans who have seen the clip will have their doubts.
The timing certainly cannot be helpful for the Portuguese cause, even if other players, including Joao Mario have also played down talk of tension.
Mbappe vs PSG
Meanwhile, the tensions between Paris Saint-Germain and Kylian Mbappe don’t appear to be going anywhere.
After agreeing an extension earlier in the year, it now seems the France star is fed up and wants out.
In their efforts to convince the French attacker to stay, PSG made him all kinds of promises and guarantees, to the extent that Mbappe now feels he calls the shots in Paris.
One of his various demands has allegedly been that the club gets rid of Neymar.
Although he has denied this speculation, it is clear that the two don’t have the best relationship.
The club themselves now appear to be growing tired of Mbappe’s whims and desire for the limelight and might finally be willing to sell their franchise player. At a price, of course, and not to just any club.
Who is France’s leader?
While it is clear that Ronaldo is the figurehead of the Portugal squad, Mbappe‘s leadership role is less clear for France.
He is much younger and there are experienced players like Karim Benzema in Didier Deschamps’ squad.
Finding a way for their stars to share protagonism could be key to France’s success. For Portugal, the key may be in allowing Ronaldo’s co-stars to shine.