Home / Euro / ‘Cristiano Ronaldo can inspire Portugal to World Cup glory’, says Bernardo Silva
‘Cristiano Ronaldo can inspire Portugal to World Cup glory’, says Bernardo Silva

‘Cristiano Ronaldo can inspire Portugal to World Cup glory’, says Bernardo Silva

It is often argued one man cannot win a World Cup on his own, no matter how exceptional.
While Pele and Diego Maradona were notably inspirational in memorable past Brazil and Argentina triumphs, the current crop of footballing greats have struggled to match them despite their club heroics.
Four years ago, Lionel Messi was left heartbroken as Argentina lost a tense final to Germany — the closest he has come to winning the game’s biggest prize.
As for Cristiano Ronaldo, a 
fourth-place finish in 2006 is the best he has managed with Portugal, while the team suffered a disastrous first-round exit in 2014.
Yet with a fifth Champions League success following a fifth Ballon d’Or title, the Real Madrid frontman will now be aiming to rule the world.
Teammate Bernardo Silva believes Ronaldo’s desire shows no sign of diminishing aged 33, and that he will be Portugal’s talisman in Russia this month — just as he was when leading his country to their first major tournament success at Euro 2016.
“If he’s good in form and fit, everything is possible for us,” the Manchester City midfielder told Arab News.
“We need him, he’s our main player, no one can question that.
“So if Cristiano is at his best we can do something special at the World Cup, for sure. He’s our captain, he pushes us and everyone knows he’s such an important player and we trust in him to be as well as he can be to help us.
“You can always see this ambition and desire in him. He has won five Ballon d’Ors, now going for the sixth, he’s won five Champions Leagues and has won the European Championship.
“But he is now thinking about winning the World Cup even though he knows how complicated it is. So his ambition, the way he thinks, the way he performs, is a lesson that all of us can share and learn from a special player.”
Ronaldo famously urged Portugal on to victory from the sidelines in the Euro 2016 final against France after being forced out early with a knee injury.
A thigh injury on the eve of that tournament saw Bernardo miss the chance to share in that glory.
“I was injured, but so happy for my teammates,” he added.
“I did all the qualification and felt I was part of the team and what they achieved.
“But I was a little bit sad at the same time not to play in the finals, being such an important competition and not being able to help my team win the first big international trophy for our country.
“But now I want to do something in this World Cup. This is my first important competition for my country, I feel fit and in good form and have the confidence to help my country do something special.”
Bernardo will go into the World Cup on a high after helping Manchester City win the Premier League and League Cup following a £43 million ($57 million) arrival from Monaco last summer. While he was generally used in rotation, the 23-year-old still made an impact with nine goals as Pep Guardiola’s outfit smashed Premier League records.
“To win such an important league the way we did it, it gives me a lot of confidence for the World Cup,” said Bernardo, whose Portugal side will face Spain, Iran and Morocco in Group B.
“Pep always wants the best for us at City, always wants us to work hard and to have this ambition to win 
everything, to win all the games.
“It feels great to win the title with City, but I hope for more. The World Cup is probably the most special competition in football, you can only play it once every four years and not everyone gets the chance.
“To be honest I don’t know Iran very well, but Morocco, I played in France with Monaco and some of their team played in the league so I know them. It will be a very tough game.
“We played a friendly with Saudi Arabia and it’s always complicated to play against these types of teams, very physical, and we will try to do our best and get through.
“Spain? Everyone knows how good they are and how difficult it will be.
“Everyone wants to win the World Cup and we believe we can, even though we have to admit we are not the favorites. For me, Brazil, France, Germany and Spain are the favorites. Even though it’s not easy we will try to do it.”

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