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Keeping Real's slim title hopes alive

Real Madrid

Ronaldo: England will succeed at Euros

Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping for "big things for England" at Euro 2012 this summer.

Ronaldo, who spent six years playing in England with Manchester United, believes England have yet to reach their potential at a major international tournament. The Portugal forward says new boss Roy Hodgson could well change that as he looks to lead England to European glory.

"I always expect England to win a big tournament," Ronaldo told The Sun. "England have some of the best players in the world and are always tough opponents for any team.

"I hope England do well in the Euros because I have a lot of friends there. It is a country I like a lot. I expect big things for England, the new coach and the country."

However, Ronaldo says reigning European and World Cup champions Spain, along with World Cup finalist Holland and Germany are the favourites to take out the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

"Italy have a good chance," Ronaldo said. "And Portugal, too. Why not? But the three teams with the biggest chances are Spain, Germany and Holland."

One player who will not be joining Ronaldo at the Euros is former United team-mate Rio Ferdinand. Ronaldo feels the 33-year-old still has much to offer England and claims he is baffled by Hodgson's decision to omit the defender.

"Rio is the best centre-back in England and still one of the best in the world. I don't understand why he is not in the national team. Maybe the coach has justifications and we have to respect those. But I have to be honest, I love Rio.

"He's a great player, great man and he should be in the national team because he would help England do well... maybe to win the tournament."


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