Portugal midfielder Raul Meireles insists Paulo Bento’s team can go all the way at Euro 2012 if Cristiano Ronaldo continues his good form.
Ronaldo, who missed a glut of chances in his side’s 3-2 win against Denmark, found his shooting boots against the Netherlands to set up a quarter-final clash with the Czech Republic on Thursday.
“We’re all aware of the great player we have in our national team, in my opinion no less than the best player in the world,” Meireles told reporters.
“Everybody wants him to help, that was just what happened against Netherlands and fortunately he scored.”
Meireles was an integral part of Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea team that stunned Europe to clinch the Champions League against Bayern Munich.
Although he may be an unsung hero of the national team, the 29-year-old is hoping he can transfer his club success to the international stage.
“Nobody regarded us as favourites before the tournament,” Meireles said.
“Just as nobody regarded Chelsea as favourites in the Champions League, it will be very difficult, but it’s our dream, just as it’s the dream of all Portuguese people.”
Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech was one of the heroes at the Allianz Arena, and his Stamford Bridge team-mate is wary of the presence he brings to Michal Bilek’s side.
“I know Petr very well,” Meireles said.
“But I’ve not spoken to him. He’s very strong mentally, he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and he has proved that.
“The feeling I have is that they’ll come with the desire to win.
“After losing the first game heavily, they responded very well to finish top of their group.”
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