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Ronaldo raring to explode

By Tony Ubani, in South Africa
A beaming Cristiano Ronaldo was on good form speaking as the chosen player the press conference given by the Portugal delegation in South Africa.

The flying winger spoke of his burning ambition to make a big impact on the tournament, to win, and to rediscover his goalscoring ways for the Seleccao.

“My ambition is always to be the best. I want to explode in this World Cup and I’m confident I can do so. I’m not saying that I have anything to prove to anybody. When I say I want to explode what I mean is I want to play well, have a good World Cup and help the team to win,” began Ronaldo.

“I’ve got this feeling that I can help my Seleccao and that my Seleccao can help me; only together can we win something. And this is what I want to happen. On an individual level I think I had a great season, but that’s not always what counts. Real Madrid did not win anything and I’m sad about that.”

Despite a none-too-shabby record of 22 goals in 72 appearances for Portugal, the former Sporting and Manchester United forward has had a lean patch for his national team in terms of goalscoring of late. He failed to find the net at all during qualification, and scored his last goal from the penalty spot on 11 February 2009 in a friendly against Finland.

However, Ronaldo is confident his dry spell in front of goal will come to the end with a glut. “I hope to score on Tuesday. To be honest I’m not in the least worried about my lack of goals (for Portugal). As someone said to me, goals are like a bottle of ketchup. When it appears, it all comes at once.

“God knows who works hard and who is deserving. I’m perfectly calm. I’ve been doing the same things that I did four years ago, three years ago, two years ago. It’s going to be like ketchup – it will all come in one go!

“We have to think solely about the first game. We have to build a foundation of a good start to the World Cup. We’re going to have a very difficult game against the Ivory Coast. We have to concentrate on that, and only then on the second game.

“If we win the first two games, we will qualify for the second phase and then, as my friend Scolari would say, ‘it’s mata-mata’ (kill or be killed), and anything is possible. I hope we work well as a team and I hope to help. The squad is confident and I’m happy to be part of this squad.”


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