Cristiano Ronaldo: 'I never thought we could be world champions'

by Jun 23, 11:55 AM
Jorge Silva / Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo gives off an air of self-confidence in everything he does, but he sounded humbled following Portugal's 2-2 draw with the U.S. on Sunday - a result that left the Selecção relatively helpless in their quest to qualify for the knockout stage. 

Portugal must defeat Ghana in its final group stage game and also hope for either the U.S. or Germany to win their match. A tie between the Germans and Americans would send both teams to the Round of 16 and eliminate Portugal. 

"Maybe we're an average team," Ronaldo said after Sunday's game, via Goal.com. "It would be a lie to say that we are a 'top' team. We have many limitations and suffer from injuries such as with Pepe [who was suspended] and [Fabio] Coentrao. This limits us a lot. We have a very limited team and we are not at the best level. This does not enable you to beat top teams.

"There are no miracles. We knew we would have a tough group, with perhaps teams better than us. I never thought we could be world champions, we have to be humble and know our level. I'm not a hypocrite, I never thought we could win the tournament."

Ronaldo admitted his teammates looked fatigued against the U.S., but he refused to blame the knee injury he's reportedly battling on his own disappointing play. 

"I'm here, I'm fighting, I'm trying to do my best, I'm running, and obviously it's no use talking about my issues.

"Every team comes here to win. We knew we weren't favorites, we have never been."

Feature photo courtesy of Jorge Silva / Reuters