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Bernardo Silva: Portugal need Cristiano Ronaldo

Bernardo Silva: Portugal need Cristiano Ronaldo

Bernardo Silva says Portugal "needs" Cristiano Ronaldo to be successful at the World Cup.

The football legend has been in the headlines for his incendiary interview with Piers Morgan but Silva knows that the player is key if the country are to do well in Qatar.

The Manchester City player told Arab News: "He’s been there for a long time and he keeps going. He’s still a great striker, in terms of when he touches the ball in the box, he is always a danger. The finishing is still there, he’s our captain and one player … that we think will be able to help us.

"We’re happy to see him play again because we need him in good shape and we are going to try to win this World Cup together. We want to do it together, not just him, but the whole team. We are aiming to try to win it. We go there to win."

Ronaldo has expressed a desire to continue playing for Portugal until Euro 2024 and Silva suggested that the team would be supportive of the player's decision.

He said: "That’s his decision, the manager’s decision and the president of the football federation. After the World Cup they will see if it makes sense to keep going. It will also be Cristiano’s decision after all. He’s getting older and older, but if he feels he’s still at a good level to play then that’s his decision. Whatever he decides we will support that."

Silva reflected on his earliest World Cup memory as watched a Portugal side featuring Ronaldo reach the last four in 2006.

He said: "It was a bit of half-disappointment, half a great tournament for Portugal in 2006 when we reached the semifinals and lost to France.

"I was 12 and it was Luis Figo’s last game for Portugal and Cristiano was also there. We had a great team and we lost to a penalty by Zinedine Zidane. Four years ago it was a big disappointment for us because we went out in the last 16 to Uruguay and now we have them in our group again — and we definitely want to do better.

"The World Cup is probably the most special competition in football so I’m excited to play in Qatar for my country. I can’t imagine what it would be like to win it, it would be a dream come true."

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