‘You can’t write off Portugal with Ronaldo in the team’ - Ferdinand

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The ex-England international believes his former Manchester United team-mate could fire his country to glory in Russia

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes that Portugal’s chances of winning the World Cup are limited - but refuses to write off the Euro 2016 winners due to the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

After winning a fifth Champions League trophy, Ronaldo has set his sights on leading Portugal to more silverware in what will be his fourth World Cup.

Ferdinand, who played with Ronaldo for six seasons at Old Trafford before the Portuguese moved to Real Madrid, insists that the 33-year-old remains talismanic for his country and has surpassed the likes of Eusebio and Luis Figo in the legend stakes.

"I think Ronaldo’s chances of winning the World Cup with Portugal are limited,” Ferdinand told Goal during the BBC media day.

“The squad won the European Championships, but there was not a fancy team there. 

“But when you have a Cristiano Ronaldo in your team, you have always got a chance of doing something in every minute of every game, because he is that good. 

“He produces so consistently, both for his club and country, that you cannot ever write off a Portugal team that has Cristiano Ronaldo in it. 

“He has surpassed legends like Eusebio and Figo. He surpassed them a while ago. They were great players, but Figo knows he is not on the same page as Ronaldo.  Because his numbers don’t lie, what he has won in the game, his status in the game, he is at the top table both past and present.”

You can't write off Portugal - Ferdinand

They're not fancy, but Portugal will always stand a chance as long as they have Cristiano Ronaldo, says Rio Ferdinand is part of BBC's punditry team that will provide extensive coverage of World Cup 2018. Posted by Goal.com on Thursday, 14 June 2018

Ronaldo meanwhile admits a tough Group B opener against rivals Spain on June 15 presents a tough task, but he remains confident the European champions have the quality to progress to the knockout rounds. 

"A defeat on the first day puts you in a bad way for the rest of the tournament so it's important to start well," he said. "But I believe both Spain and Portugal will reach the next round. 

"To win the World Cup would be a dream for Portugal but to do it we have to play the same way we did in Euro 2016, as a team and all together.”

The BBC will provide extensive coverage of World Cup 2018 across TV, radio and online from June 14.

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