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Ronaldo expects Portugal to prosper

Posted 11th June 2010

Cristiano Ronaldo believes Portugal can recover from the loss of former Manchester United team-mate Nani and feels being drawn in the toughest of the World Cup groups could spur them on to great things.

Carlos Queiroz's side open their campaign against Ivory Coast next Tuesday before further tricky-looking pool assignments against North Korea and Brazil.

Blue Square are today offering a hat-trick of Daily Specials on this nation, quoting 10/3 for Portugal to win Group G, 33/1 they lift the trophy and 20/1 Ronaldo is the tournament's top scorer.

But the Real Madrid star is not concerned by the magnitude of the task ahead. "I think Portugal is doing well. It's true that we play a very tough group stage but this helps us to improve even more," he said.

"Portugal is in a very good moment. It's true that the team has changed a lot. We will spend lots of time together before the tournament starts and that will help us to play a better World Cup this year."

Ronaldo believes his side and group rivals Brazil can count themselves among the six favourites for the showpiece event in South Africa.

"Theoretically you can say that Spain, England, Italy, Germany, Brazil and Portugal are always the strongest candidates," the 25-year-old added.

"It will be a very special World Cup. Every player has the ambition to play such a tournament in order to showcase his abilities."