'Don't do too well': Steve Bull jokes as Wolves' Ruben Neves set to get World Cup campaign underway
Wolves legend Steve Bull admits he is conflicted about Ruben Neves enjoying a successful World Cup with Portugal.
Midfielder Neves kicks off his World Cup campaign for Fernando Santos’ side against Ghana in Group H in Qatar today (4pm kick-off).
The Portugal and Molineux star has been standout player by some distance in a thus far miserable campaign for Wolves, where he is in his sixth season.
Neves, 25, and Portugal will hope he can transfer his form to the global stage, but Wolves goal legend Bull – a member of England’s Italia ‘90 World Cup squad – knows that top performances on the elite stage will only crank up interest in the midfielder.
“If I put my Wolves hat on I hope he’s absolutely shocking and doesn’t have a good tournament!” Bull smiled.
“But that’s my Wolves head speaking, as a player I want him to go from strength to strength.
“He’s a world class player and he’s proven that at Wolves, he continues to prove it at Wolves.
“If he has a good World Cup then there will be alarm signals all over Molineux saying ‘Is he staying?’ ‘What’s going on?’
“In my head, as a Wolves person, I hope he has the worst tournament ever, but as a player I hope he can have the best one and try to score a few goals.
“As I say I hope he can get as many caps under his belt as possible and I wish him all the best.”
Former Porto star Neves has less than two years left to run on his Molineux deal and it was expected last season would have been his final in old gold after what appeared an emotional farewell at the end of the last campaign.
He is joined in Santos’ tournament squad by Wolves team-mates Matheus Nunes and goalkeeper Jose Sa.
Neves is the more likely of the trio to get the starting nod and add to his 32 international caps, though, ahead of club-record signing Nunes, who has played nine times and scored once for his nation.
Keeper Sa, 29, is yet to make his international debut for Portugal. A start between the sticks will go to either ex-Wolves shot-stopper Rui Patricio or highly-rated youngster Diogo Costa, of Porto.
“I love that we have so many from Portugal, because they are class players and I love watching them,” Bull added.
“We want to keep them at our club for as long as we can.”