Former hero Ronaldo backs Brazil to end 16-year wait in Russia

Soccer Football - The Best FIFA Football Awards - London Palladium, London, Britain - October 23, 2017 Former Brazil player Ronaldo is interviewed before the start of the awards REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

MOSCOW: Former Brazil striker Ronaldo believes it is time for his country to live up to the expectations and end their 16-year wait for a World Cup in Russia.

Tite’s Brazilian squad head into the tournament as one of the favourites, and will meet Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.

“I think for me the favourite is, of course, Brazil, not just because I am Brazilian but because Brazil are playing very well,” Ronaldo, who was the top scorer when Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002, told reporters in Moscow.

“Spain are playing very well, and Germany are always strong. But the World Cup is such a difficult tournament, and we also have Argentina, who are always strong, France with a very young team.

“I hope Brazil can win. It’s a long time since 2002, and I think it’s time.”

Five-time champions Brazil will open their campaign against Switzerland on Sunday.