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The Real Madrid assistant coach has praised the Portugal star ahead of Friday's World Cup draw and says he hopes France are to face some tough teams early on

Zinedine Zidane has branded Cristiano Ronaldo "monstrous" for the way he has been performing for Real Madrid and Portugal this year.

The forward, 28, scored four times in the Seleccao's two-legged World Cup play-off against Sweden to secure a place in Brazil and has been in excellent goalscoring form for the Blancos this season.

"Cristiano Ronaldo has shown what he can do for Portugal and Real Madrid," Zidane, who is part of the coaching staff at Santiago Bernabeu, told reporters in Brazil ahead of the World Cup 2014 group stage draw on Friday.

"He does not need to talk much. Much has been said of him, but what he does on the pitch is monstrous. The way he won the match against Sweden, when many people thought Portugal would not qualify... he carried the team on his back.

"He has shown that he is an excellent player. I'm proud to stand beside him [at Madrid], to see him in training, participating in everything.

"He's a great professional, arriving an hour before training. What he has done on the pitch is the result of his hard work. He's an example and really carries and drives the team."

Zidane won the World Cup with France in 1998 and hopes that les Bleus are handed the chance to pit themselves against the best from the outset when the eight groups are allocated on Friday.

"I would love it if France could get put in a difficult group," he added. "I want us to play against the best and achieve something more. I'm not afraid for us to tackle tough teams."

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