The 31-year-old is hoping to win the tournament after 2004 final loss
Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo accepts hosts France are the favourites to win Sunday’s Euro 2016 final, but believes his nation can cause an upset to be crowned European champions.
It is not the first time that the 31-year-old has been named a European Champion, having won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid and once with Manchester United, but the Real star is now looking to be crowned Europe’s best at international level, also.
Few would have expected Portugal to reach the final, prior to the tournament, and even fewer would have expected it, after Fernando Santos’ men picked up just one win inside 90 minutes at the tournament, against Wales in the semi-final.
But Ronaldo is feeling confident about his side’s chances, as they look to avenge defeat in the 2004 final on home turf, by winning in Paris.
“They are, in my opinion, favourites because they are playing at home and that’s a big advantage,” Ronaldo admitted.
“The whole country is going to support them, but it’s a final and anything can happen. We’re going to be prepared and we’re going to be difficult to beat.
“Since the tournament started nobody has beaten us, and I hope France aren’t going to beat us either.”
A win against France would not only upset the odds, but present Ronaldo with his first major honour at international level.
Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s big rival in La Liga, recently quit international football with Argentina, after missing a spot kick in the Copa America penalty shoot-out defeat to Chile in the final, having gone 11 years on the international stage with out a major trophy.
However, Ronaldo is dreaming of making a dream come true on Sunday night, and put himself one step ahead of his rival, in terms of bragging rights.
“It’s something that I always dreamed of,” said Ronaldo. “It would be a huge achievement if I could win something with Portugal.
“My fingers are crossed because I believe, my colleagues believe, all of Portugal believes and the Portuguese community in France believe too.
“It’s unique, a feeling of joy, because being in a final is something I wanted to achieve again.
“Now I will have the fortune, if everything goes well, to be playing on Sunday in a second final for Portugal.
“In a final anything can happen. We know we will face a great opponent, a great national team, but it’s a final and anything is possible.
“It’s going to be a tough game for both of us.”