World Cup

Brazil’s Ronaldo backing France for World Cup

Ronaldo, a former star of Brazil, claims he cannot support Argentina at the World Cup and instead picks France as the “huge favorite” to win the tournament.

“I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say I’ll be happy for Argentina” if they win the World Cup, said Ronaldo. “But I see football as a romantic. And I will appreciate any champion.”

“Since the beginning, my prediction has always been Brazil and France in the final,” the two-time World Cup winner told media including AFP at a roundtable in Doha.

“Brazil are no longer there. But France, match after match, are backing up their status as favourites and I still see them as the big favourites.”

Ronaldo, who scored both goals as Portugal defeated Germany in the 2002 World Cup final, anticipates France to defeat Morocco on Wednesday.

“I would really like (Morocco to win) but I don’t think they will. I think France have a very solid team, whether it’s in defence, attack or midfield,” said the twice former Ballon d’Or winner.

The tournament’s top scorer in Qatar with five goals, Kylian Mbappe, has particularly impressed Ronaldo.

“He knows how to use his skills, how to go faster than the others. And he uses them to give assists or to score,” said Ronaldo, who expects the 23-year-old Mbappe to shatter numerous records.

“He has the time, the skills, he’s thirsty and he has the talent to conquer it all, that’s for sure.”

After the Atlas Lions became the first Arab team and the first African team to make it to a World Cup semifinal, Ronaldo praised Morocco’s efforts.

“It’s a great football story that an African team is in the semifinals of a World Cup,” he said. “I saw the reactions in Morocco, what football gives us is very beautiful.”

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