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Rivaldo backs Ronaldo to lead Portugal to international success

Former Brazil international Rivaldo has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as the “best player in the world” and stated his belief that the Real Madrid star can win a major international tournament with Portugal before he retires.

Ronaldo has failed to replicate his phenomenal club success on the international stage with his best chance of silverware coming early in his career when host nation Portugal surprisingly lost the final of Euro 2004 to Greece.

In contrast, the former Manchester United man claimed three Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League crown during his time at Old Trafford and has also won one La Liga medal and another European Cup following his switch to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2009. Add in a multitude of individual honours, including three Ballons d’Or, and his career looks complete. 

Ronaldo himself, however, has admitted he would “only be fully content with my career when I have lifted a trophy with Portugal”. 

That dream could become a reality next summer with Portugal well-placed to qualify for Euro 2016 in France, and Rivaldo is adamant there is still time for the 30-year-old to make the breakthrough with his country.

The Brazilian told Jornal de Noticias: “The Portuguese team can be champions of Europe or even the world with Ronaldo. I think they are very close.

“Portugal always has good campaigns in Europe and anything can happen because the best player in the world is Portuguese.”

Strangely, Ronaldo’s great rival, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, is also yet to win an international tournament with Argentina, bar the Olympic Games in 2008.

Sat 5 Sep, 2015
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