Ronaldo dismisses minnows in Euro 2016; thinks big teams like Portugal will prevail
Cristiano Ronaldo has dismissed the impact of small nations such as Iceland and Northern Ireland in UEFA Euro 2016, claiming that the big teams will prevail. The Portuguese star has been on the wrong end of results from so called minnows, but still harbours hope that Portugal will prevail, talking up his sides chances against the likes of Croatia in the Round-of-16.
Portugal squeaked through to the knock-out stages of Euro 2016 with a nervy 3-3 draw agains Group F toppers Hungary. However, Ronaldo was in a bullish mood when assessing his sides chances, telling the Times of India, “I don't think there are many surprises in European football. Maybe in the group stage you can have a surprise but the big countries always arrive in the final.”
Ronaldo had laid into Iceland following their draw with Portugal, criticising them for a ‘small team’ mentality. However, he seems to have put his nation’s struggles behind him, and is looking forward to the knockout rounds.
Portugal have a favourable draw in Euro 2016
Portugal face Croatia in the Round-of-16 clash, with Ronaldo quite circumspect, saying “We're facing a very good team and the odds are 50-50. We saw the highlights of their last game against Spain. They are a tough team.”
If Portugal get past Croatia, they won’t face a big side until the finals, with Spain, France, England and Italy all on the other side of the draw. Ronaldo is thus confident about his nation’s chances, saying “I think [Portugal is good enough to challenge]. Portugal have big players playing in the best leagues in the world. So why not?”
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The Real Madrid forwards has never won an international trophy, in stark contrast to his club career. Ronaldo hopes that his trophy drought with Portugal will end, outlining his dreams and ambitions, saying “I've always said my personal dream is to win a big trophy with my country. There's a chance it can happen but it's complicated, it's difficult. We are giving everything.”
“I have won a lot of big trophies in in my career, the biggest you can win, but a title with my country is always important. It's a big, big dream to fulfil.”