Ronaldo seeks more greatness with first Portugal title at last

For his Portugal coach Fernando Santos, Cristiano Ronaldo is "the best player in the world. That's it."

More often than not Ronaldo gives the impression that he more than shares this sentiment, given his antics on and off the pitch which make him the number one player in football you either love passionately or hate unconditionally.

But the Real Madrid forward has plenty of numbers to back up his greatness, ranging from being Champions League all-time record scorer and three World Player awards to his achievements in France where he became Portugal's record capped player, the first man to score at four Euros and joint all-time Euro top scorer with nine goals.

Winning the title Sunday against France would however be the pinnacle for the Madeira-born player whose career started at Sporting and continued at Manchester United from 2003 before his Real move in 2009.

Victory would also be sweet because Ronaldo was a young part of the 2004 team which lost the Euro final against Greece in Lisbon.

"I believe the dream can become reality now. I hope that we can leave the pitch with a smile on Sunday and not with tears in our eyes as in 2004," Ronaldo said. "

"I always dreamt of winning something for Portugal, and its just one step away ... I am very confident, all the boys deserve it, I deserve it, every person in Portugal deserves it.

Ronaldo has scored three goals in France, including his thumping header which opened the scoring in the 2-0 semi-final win over Wales.

"For all his occasional graceless qualities, Ronaldo remains a high-class footballing terminator. You simply cannot call him off," British paper The Guardian said.

Santos has always highlighted Ronaldo's role as team player, and Wales manager Chris Coleman also praised him for his devotion to the sport.

"Talent can be a huge distraction. Talent is not enough, he has the mentality to go with it," Coleman said.

Ronaldo also knows that he can't achieve success without the team.

"Portugal is not all about me. Of course we are a team," he insisted. "I have tried to help as much as I can, not by scoring but also by fighting and giving it all. In order to win the trophy we need 23 players fighting."

Last update: Sat, 09/07/2016 - 11:58

More from Sport

Ronaldo, Griezmann and Messi leads FIFA awards shortlist

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been joined by Antoine Griezmann in final shortlist for the FIFA best men's...

World champion Rosberg retires from F1 racing

Nico Rosberg says he is retiring from Formula One racing, five days after winning his first world title in the sport...

Ranieri, Santos, Zidane make FIFA awards coaching shortlist

Claudio Ranieri, manager of surprise Premier League champions Leicester City, has made the shortlist for football's...

Manchester United's Jose Mourinho given one-match ban, fine

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been given a one-match touchline ban for being sent off during Sunday's...

Gareth Southgate appointed as England manager

Gareth Southgate has been appointed as the England manager on a permanent basis, the Football Association said on...