Cristiano Ronaldo confident Portugal will make the cut

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
cristiano ronaldo

Ronaldo, 25, has not scored for Portugal for over 16 months (Photo: Tsutomu Takasu)

Cristiano Ronaldo says Portugal “have every chance” of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup following their 0-0 draw with Ivory coast on Tuesday.

Ronaldo, 25, came close for Portugal when he sent a fierce strike goal-wards from 35 yards only to see his effort smash onto the post.

Despite enjoying a prolific season at Real Madrid, the 25-year-old has not scored for his country since he got the winner in a friendly against Finland in February of last year.

But the Portugal captain is remaining upbeat and is confident his team will qualify for the next round.

“We haven’t lost anything by this draw,” said Ronaldo. “This has happened to other teams like England.

“We now have to play North Korea, (followed by Group G favourites Brazil), we still have every chance of making it into the next round.”

Ronaldo was booked by referee Jorge Larrionda following a tackle by Guy Demel.

“I didn’t understand the referee’s decision, I respect it but he gave me a yellow and I didn’t do anything, he thinks I dived.”

Carlos Queiroz says a draw was a fair result and is confident ahead of Portugal’s next match against North Korea.

“Now we still have six points to play for,” said Queiroz. “Our next game is against a team (North Korea) that are not candidates to go forward, so we’ll see what comes out of that.

“After the second batch of matches will be the time too put our cards on the table, our last game will not be a time to defend.”

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, who was cleared by FIFA to wear a protective cast on the broken arm he picked up last week, was delighted at his team’s performance and the overall result.

“I’m very happy, especially when we took a point from a dangeorus team like Portugal,” said Drogba.

“We showed that we could put together some excellent moves. Now we have to focus on Brazil.

“When you remember we lost our first two matches at the 2006 World Cup I think you can say we have started this one well.

“A good World Cup for us would be to produce great performances against our three first round rivals because Ivory Coast has only won a single game in its brief World Cup history.”

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