(Reuters) - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes “nothing is impossible” for Portugal at this year’s World Cup in Russia with Cristiano Ronaldo in the team.
The 33-year-old Real Madrid forward played a crucial role in helping his country to Euro 2016 glory in France, and has enjoyed another impressive campaign with his Spanish club, scoring 42 goals in all competitions.
“Portugal has an interesting squad,” Mourinho told ESPN Brazil. “Without Cristiano, it would be impossible. But with him nothing is impossible.”
The former Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto manager also shared similar sentiments about Argentina, who led by Lionel Messi, are chasing their first World Cup crown since 1986.
“I believe that the Argentinian national team without Lionel Messi wouldn’t be a contender,” the 55-year-old Portuguese added. “But with him, it is one of the favourites.”
Mourinho said five-times champions Brazil have one of the most settled squads heading into the tournament, with the right mix of tactical flexibility and individual talent.
“I like very much the basic structure of Brasil, its tactical and mentality,” he said.
“There is a mixture between Brazilian natural talent, with a serious approach, physical, tactical.
“It is a team capable of defending well, allowing few goals, with a good support base. And then up front with Willian, Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus... all players with outstanding qualities.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond