Belfast Telegraph

Portugal are ready for anything at the World Cup, says Cristiano Ronaldo

By Joshua Bunting

Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo says anything is possible at the World Cup as he and his team-mates prepare for their opening match against cross-border rivals Spain on Friday.

The European champions are ranked fourth in the world and would be considered one of the teams challenging for the title, but Ronaldo was quick to dispel any notions of Portugal being favourites.

Germany and Brazil are the two sides being touted as the best sides competing this year, while the likes of Belgium and Argentina are also considered to be in with a chance of becoming champions.

However, 33-year old Ronaldo was in a bullish mood ahead of the tournament and believes that anything can happen over the next few weeks, and that he and the rest of his side will be trying their hardest in Russia.

Five-time Champions League winner Ronaldo said: "(I'm proud) to be here as captain and it’s a proud moment for all players. I can guarantee great ambition on the part of the whole national team. We know we aren’t favourites (for the World Cup) but in football nothing is impossible."

"We have to think about the first game and the group stage, which is very difficult. With these players we always have to think big and we will do our best, but we have nothing guaranteed.

"All the players will do their best, with the humility we had in 2016 - when we were not favorites and we won. Let's fight until the end and hope that in football everything is possible."

Meanwhile, Portuguese team-mate Manuel Fernandes has said that Ronaldo is fully focused on the tournament and not concerned by his Real Madrid future, with speculation continuing to grow that he could be set to exit the Bernabeu.

Speaking on Monday at Portugal's World Cup team base camp on the outskirts of Moscow, Fernandes said: "I have nothing negative to say about Cristiano, he looks focused and doesn't look at all worried about his future."

Ronaldo is Portugal's all-time leading scorer with 81 goals in 150 senior caps, and he captained them to their first European Championship back in 2016, however at 33, this could be his final World Cup.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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