Cristiano Ronaldo will not be as good with Portugal as he is with Real Madrid at the World Cup, says Jose Mourinho
- Cristiano Ronaldo is not as good with Portugal because he lacks a quality team
- Jose Mourinho says he’s only so good at Real Madrid because of his team-mates
- He says Portugal need players in same category as Luka Modric and Toni Kroos
The 33-year-old goes into this summer’s World Cup with pressure to repeat the goal-scoring heroics he has displayed at club level. Indeed, he is among the favourites to win the Golden Boot.
But Mourinho, who worked with Ronaldo at Real Madrid for three seasons and is himself a Portuguese national, says the lack of support will prevent the five-time Ballon d’Or winner from performing at his best.
Cristiano Ronaldo struggles to perform at his highest level with Portugal, says Jose Mourinho
Speaking as a pundit on Russia Today, the Manchester United manager said: ‘One thing is Ronaldo for Portugal. Another is Ronaldo with Real Madrid. We don’t have a [Luka] Modric or a [Toni] Kroos.’
With 150 caps and 81 goals, Ronaldo is both Portugal’s all-time highest appearance-maker and goal-scorer, but it is likely to be his last international tournament and thus his last chance to perform at a World Cup.
Thus far, his record at FIFA’s premiere tournament is far from impressive. He has just three goals to show from 13 appearances and is involved in a goal once every 222 minutes on average.
Toni Kroos and Luka Modric help Ronaldo to realise his full potential with Real Madrid
But if his performances in qualifying are anything to go by he can count on adding a World Cup Golden Boot to his vast array of individual accolades, many of which are on display at the Cristiano Ronaldo Museum in Madeira.
After missing the opening qualifying game against Switzerland, which Portugal lost, he returned to score 15 goals in the ensuing nine ties, helping them to qualify top of their group with 27 points.
However, four of those 15 strikes came in a single game against the tiny nation of Andorra and Ronaldo will have to breach much tougher defensive lines in Russia. His campaign starts against Spain on Friday night, where he will come up against the tried and tested World Cup winners Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique.
Mourinho, pictured with Vladimir Putin, is working as a pundit for state channel Russia Today
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.