4 July 2014 03:38
Brazil icon Ronaldo is dreaming of a FIFA World Cup final between the host nation and South American rivals Argentina.
Both teams are on course to meet in the final, with Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men preparing to face Colombia in a mouth-watering quarter-final tie in Fortaleza on Friday, while Argentina will face dark horses Belgium in Brasilia the following day.
The two countries have met four times in World Cup history, though their only knockout encounter was a 1-0 win to Argentina in a last-16 tie in 1990 – a match later dubbed the ‘Holy Water Scandal’ after Brazilian player Blanco accused the Argentinian training staff of giving him a bottle of water filled with tranquilizers.
While Ronaldo – Brazil’s third-highest leading scorer in history – is hoping for an all-South American affair, the 37-year-old is expecting Germany to present a significant stumbling block in the last four.
“I’ve been dreaming of a [World Cup] Final between Brazil and Argentina,” Ronaldo told reporters in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
“Although I think Germany have played very well and is a big favourite for the title.
“But I think if Germany beat France and Brazil wins against Colombia, then I think Brazil have a better chance to win against Germany in the semi-final.”
To reach their first World Cup final since winning the 2002 showpiece in South Korea/Japan, Brazil must first beat Colombia, who have impressed throughout the tournament.
Led by star forward James Rodriguez’s five goals, Jose Pekerman’s men finished top of Group C before accounting for Uruguay in the round of 16.
Ronaldo admits Brazil must improve if they are to avoid elimination at the quarter-final stage for the third consecutive World Cup.
“I think it’s going to be a beautiful match,” he said.
“Brazil is not playing well but we hope this time we can play well and win.
“We hope to see Brazil playing very well because the first four matches we have been disappointed, but it is most important to win the match.”