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Nani: First Europe, now the world

Nani has backed Portugal to triumph at the 2018 World Cup as Fernando Santos’ European champions prepare to begin their qualifying campaign.

Portugal face Switzerland in their opening Group B match on Tuesday, having thrashed Gibraltar 5-0 in a warm-up friendly at the start of the month.

Nani scored twice in that fixture and the Valencia winger’s focus is now trained on Russia 2018, where Portugal will seek to add to this year’s European Championship triumph.

“Winning this World Cup is one of our objectives,” the 29-year-old told FIFA.com. 

“When you start winning you can’t change your attitude. Obviously there’s no guarantee you’re always going to win, but the ambition and attitude always have to be there.

“Football is a game of dreams and we have to keep dreaming in order to achieve great things like the European title.

“We’ll have to see what happens in World Cup qualifying, but we’re going to try to take Portugal as high as we can in the football world.”

Nani took the captain’s armband in the final, where France were beaten 1-0 in extra time, after Cristiano Ronaldo was forced off injured.

Reflecting on that moment, Nani added: “Playing in that final was a special moment for everyone, especially for him, so it was extremely saddening.

“I told him I wouldn’t let him down, that I would give everything and that we would try to win the match because we deserved it.

“It was a key moment. Our mentality changed and we played the football we had inside us.

“We fought and in the end the team that suffered most ended up winning.”

Nani scored three times in France, including in the 2-0 semi-final win over Wales.

Mon 5 Sep, 2016
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