At the end of last month, the Frenchman left his post as Los Blancos manager, which came as a surprise to many as it came just days after he oversaw Real's UEFA Champions League final win over Liverpool. He also had one disallowed for offside before being substituted in the 75th minute on Thursday (Friday NZ time).
Portugal upset the odds in their last global tournament by beating hosts France 1-0 in the final of the 2016 European Championships.
Outside of Ronaldo, Portugal boast an exciting squad filled with attacking talent including Paris Saint-Germain's Goncalo Guedes, AC Milan's Andre Silva and Sporting Lisbon's Gelson Martins. "We are not where we want to be but we will be improving during the tournament".
Portugal struggled without the five-time Ballon d'Or victor in Saturday's goalless draw against Belgium that followed their 2-2 stalemate with Tunisia.
In the current 4-2-3-1 setup, the double-pivot stays deep and full-backs do not tend to stretch play, so opposing teams were able to crowd out the four most advanced players.
Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford scored from long range as England beat Costa Rica 2-0 in its final World Cup warm-up match. Just five members from Roy Hodgson's squad in Brazil are heading to the World Cup in Russian Federation next year, with Gareth Southgate favouring promise over experience.
Ronaldo's desire for a new contract was believed to be behind last year's stories and he has still not signed a new deal at Real, who he joined from United in a then world record transfer worth 85.5 million pounds ($113.77 million).