Ronaldo keen to avoid Spain, Brazil and Germany
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo believes Spain, Brazil and Germany are the favourites to win next year's World Cup and is keen to avoid all three in today's draw for the group stages.
The Real Madrid forward ensured his country will be represented in Brazil next summer with a stunning performance as he scored all four goals in Portugal’s 4-2 aggregate playoff win over Sweden last month.
However, having been eliminated by Spain in each of the last two major tournaments, he is keen to avoid some of his club teammates along with Brazil and three-time winners Germany in the early stages.
“The candidates to win the World Cup are Brazil, Spain and Germany. Ideally it is not a good moment to be drawn with them, but we are not thinking about that just now,” he told Spanish sports daily Marca.
“We will see what the draw presents us with. We are confident, in good shape and we have achieved our objective of getting to Brazil. Hopefully we will not be drawn with any of these really strong teams from the start.”
Windfall for teams
The winners of the 2014 World Cup will receive prize money of 21.5 million pounds, FIFA has announced. Even those countries that fail to get out of the group will receive 5 million pounds with every team also getting 1 million pounds towards preparation costs.