World footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that Spain and Brazil are favourites for the World Cup this summer.
The tournament, which starts in just over a month’s time, will consume all focus of the footballing world once the major domestic leagues wrap up in the next eight days.
Ronaldo will travel to Brazil as part of the Portugal squad, who despite not being among the favourites for the tournament, should see themselves qualify from their group containing Germany, USA and Ghana.
Ronaldo believes that Spain or hosts Brazil will win the tournament in July, and has played down any pressure on himself to carry Portugal to the latter stages.
“Brazil is our sister country where they speak Portuguese and I hope to enjoy it out there,” Ronaldo is reported as saying in the Daily Mail.
“[Portugal] must take it one game at a time, nothing is impossible in football. The strongest teams are Spain, Brazil, France, Italy, Argentina... Any team could go on and win it but the two big favourites are Spain and Brazil.
“I won’t be putting myself under any pressure; I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I’ve spent many years playing at the highest level.”
Ronaldo failed to mention England with regard to the strongest nations competing at the World Cup, despite having played alongside many of the squad.
The Real Madrid star famously helped knock England out of the 2006 World Cup after scoring the winning spot-kick in a match that ended in a penalty shootout.
Ronaldo is perhaps remembered more for his role in Wayne Rooney’s red card in that knock-out fixture, after he appeared to wink at fellow team-mates following consultation with the referee just seconds before.