Ronaldo doesn't need World Cup to be a great, says Figo

The 41-year-old has stressed that the attacker will still go down as one of the greatest player ever even without winning the game's most prestigious tournament
Former Portugal star Luis Figo does not believe Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo needs to win the World Cup in order to be remembered as one of football's greats.

The Ballon d'Or holder is widely recognised as one of the best players in the game today and will be the focal point of the Seleccao's quest to win this summer's tournament in Brazil.

However, Figo insists it will not have a negative impact on Ronaldo's reputation if he never lifts the game's greatest prize.

"To be remembered like Pele or [Diego] Maradona? Well, if you want to be remembered like that in the World Cups, of course, you have to win, but in his general image and the prestige he has, I don't think he needs that," Figo told Laureus.

"I think it's important to do well in the World Cup, of course. If you do that in a small country like Portugal it helps to be more important, but right now I think he needs to have that distinction in terms of what people think about his qualities.

Portugal are not among the favourites to triumph in South America, although they will hope to progress from Group G - which also contains Germany, Ghana and United States - and Figo has been quick to dismiss his nation's hopes of clinching the trophy.

"It's very difficult because it's a long way to the final and our country only has 11 million people which makes it difficult to choose 18 to 20 players for the World Cup, plus [how far Portugal go in the competition] depends heavily on Ronaldo," the retired winger mused.

"I think Portugal can make a good tournament depending on how the players arrive in physical condition in the World Cup.

"But, of course, Portugal depends a lot on Ronaldo, so it depends if he is fit or not, and depending on his performance in the World Cup.

"I think Portugal is not in the line of the favourites in national teams, but probably they are in the second line."