Paris, July 9 (IANS) Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo said France will be favourites to win the Euro Cup this time, but he still believes his team can cause an upset here on Sunday.
“France is a bit more the favourites than us, but I think Portugal will win,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by UEFA.com on Saturday.
Portugal had narrowly missed out on the trophy back in 2004 when they lost 0-1 to Greece in the final. Ronaldo, then aged just 19, was a part of that squad and is determined not to let the opportunity pass again.
“It would mean a lot. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of, to win with the national team,” the 31-year-old said.
“I have won everything at club level and the individual level, this would be a great achievement to win something for the Portuguese team.
“I believe that this is possible, as do my colleagues and the whole country also believe. We must have positive thinking because I believe that on Sunday will be the first time that Portugal will win a major trophy.”
Ronaldo and his fellow Portugal players have been far from convincing in the ongoing tournament. They drew their three group games to get into the round of 16 as one of the best third placed teams. They needed extra-time to edge past Croatia in the second round and beat Poland via a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals.
Portugal seemed to have found a bit of rhythm only against Wales as they beat the Ashley Williams led side 2-0.
“It was very positive. The team did well, played well, scored two important goals against the good-feel team of the tournament, Wales,” he said.
“They are an excellent team with an excellent coach (and they) had a great tournament. Portugal did well, we were better and created more opportunities. We were deserved winners and we are in the final.
“We started in a soft way – results in the early games were not what we wanted – but on balance the benefit is positive because to get to a final which takes a lot of merit and we have the players, coaches and the whole structure of the team. We are all to be congratulated.”