The World Cup is the biggest prize in football. Cristiano Ronaldo has come close before, but can he go one step further with Portugal this time around?
Portugal will be hoping that Cristiano Ronaldo can lead them to World Cup glory in 2022.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been in scintillating form for club and country for over a decade now. Except for the World Cup itself, he has won every major honor in the game and will be determined to seek further glory in Qatar.
Portugal may not be one of the favorites for the tournament, but they have a talented squad, and if Ronaldo is firing on all cylinders, nothing will be off the table for Fernando Santos’ side.
“The World Cup is the most difficult competition in the world. I’m dreaming of it,” Ronaldo told LiveScore.
“I know it will be tough, it will be difficult, but dreaming is free and I’m dreaming all the time. The most important thing is to be there and to compete. In my opinion, it will probably be the best World Cup ever. Let’s see.”
Who will Portugal meet in Group H?
Portugal’s first game is against Ghana in a mouth-watering Group H clash. Ronaldo will be up against the likes of Thomas Partey and Inaki Williams, but he will be hoping to get one over on them and help Portugal to a positive start.
From there, Ronaldo will face his former Manchester United teammate Edinson Cavani in Portugal’s next group match against Uruguay. They then take on South Korea in what should be a straightforward win for them.
If Santos’ side can top the group, they will meet the runners-up of Group G, which includes Brazil and Cameroon, in the Round of 16 stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
What is Cristiano Ronaldo’s record in the World Cup?
Cristiano Ronaldo has played in four World Cups but is yet to win the trophy. The closest the 37-year-old forward has come to winning the tournament was in 2006 when Portugal reached the semi-finals in Germany. He hopes to change that in 2022 for what could be his last World Cup appearance.
Overall, Ronaldo has scored in each of his four World Cup appearances and has amassed a record of seven goals and two assists in 17 matches. If he can score more than two goals in Qatar, he will surpass Eusebio as the leading Portuguese goalscorer in the competition.
“It’s a good challenge. I have a lot of respect for Eusebio,” Ronaldo said.
“All Portuguese football fans keep him in their hearts. He was an unbelievable person. But if I have the opportunity and if I have the chance, I think Eusebio will be happy in the sky and will be wishing me luck to beat his own record.”
In Ronaldo’s other World Cup appearances, Portugal exited the last-16 stage in the 2010 World Cup to eventual winners Spain. They then suffered a group-stage exit in 2014 and another last-16 exit to Uruguay in 2018.
What do the bookies think?
According to the latest odds listed on Betfair, Portugal are ranked as the seventh favorites to win the World Cup alongside the Netherlands. Odds of 15.0 suggest they have about a 6% chance of glory in terms of implied probability.