Soccer News: Ronaldo is optimistic about Portugal’s World Cup hopes and expects a ‘good tournament’ in Qatar

    Cristiano Ronaldo remains optimistic about Portugal’s chances at the World Cup in Qatar, which he believes will put on a “good tournament” despite ongoing human rights concerns.

    Portugal captain Ronaldo missed Fernando Santos’ side cruise past Nigeria in a 4-0 win in their last warm-up Thursday ahead of the FIFA global tournament.

    The Santos manager cited the 37-year-old’s illness problems amid the furor of his scathing interview with Piers Morgan at Manchester United on TalkTV.

    As the former Real Madrid striker lashed out at United, their staff and directors, Ronaldo offered Portugal a chance at the World Cup where they face Ghana next Thursday in the first leg of Group H.

    “I am very optimistic. We have a fantastic coach, we have a good generation of players,” said the five-time winner of the Golden Ball.

    “I’m looking forward to it, we’re going to an amazing World Cup… [It’s] will be tough. Extremely difficult. But everything is possible, of course, we will fight.”

    After naming a host of favorites ahead of the tournament such as Argentina, Spain and Brazil, Ronaldo said he would retire immediately if Portugal won the tournament.

    The United striker believes England also have a “chance” in Qatar, which has come under scrutiny for its human rights treatment after being granted admission rights by FIFA.

    The captains of 10 European teams will wear heart armbands, raising awareness of the OneLove campaign against discrimination in a country where same-sex relationships are illegal.

    FIFA has repeatedly urged countries to focus on football, much to the dismay of many fans and countries, although Ronaldo believes Qatar will prove to be a capable host.

    “All national teams, people will be welcome in Qatar and I see a good tournament to be honest,” he added.

    “I think Qatar; they are prepared. They are ready for it [the backlash].

    “It will be strange to play at the beginning of the season. But at the same time it is a challenge. I think it is good. I feel good and have good energy.”

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