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Portugal news

Queiroz: Ronaldo can fire us to glory

June 6, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Carlos Queiroz has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as Portugal's very own "Superman" and believes the captain can fire his side to World Cup glory.

Carlos Queiroz and Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
GettyImagesCarlos Queiroz is banking on Cristiano Ronaldo to get among the goal in South Africa

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Ronaldo struggled to convert his fine club form, first with Manchester United and then Real Madrid, onto the international stage during Portugal's uninspiring qualification campaign, as Queiroz's side edged past Bosnia-Herzegovina in a play-off to make the finals.

And at his last major tournament, Ronaldo scored just one goal as Portugal exited Euro 2008 at the group stage.

But Queiroz believes that this time around, the Real Madrid forward is ready to prove himself on football's biggest stage, and is backing his captain to star in Portugal's World Cup campaign in South Africa.

"Cristiano is a champion and, as a player, is Superman," Queiroz told the Daily Star. "In terms of his mental approach to the game, he is so strong and so confident.

"It has always been this way since I first started working with him as an 18-year-old. He has a champion mind. He is someone who has always been able to perform above the demands of the game.

"It is fantastic to work with a really special player in our squad, who has shown the world that he is a winner even before the tournament begins.

"And this also makes it easy to ensure his spirit and attitude rubs off on the rest of the Portugal players."

With Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea rounding up Group G, Queiroz insists Portugal will need to be at their best to progress from the group, but he is confident that his side can not only make it through, but actually win the tournament for the first time.

"I am sure Ivory Coast will be fearing Portugal," Queiroz said. "As a national team and in a one-against-one situation, Portugal can beat any side at this World Cup.

"So our approach is to play the first game, then the second and so on. Firstly, we have to get through to the second round. Then our aim will be to run and run on the outside - and to be in a position where we have the opportunity to compete with the very best in the world."