“I believe that our team has enormous potential. As for winning, we'll see. I believe so, I have that 'feeling', that hope, but in these competitions you have to start calmly, think first about the group, about the game against Ghana, which is the most difficult, as they are the first. From there, it's about going slowly,” he said at a press conference.

The captain of the national team spoke to journalists at the training center of Al-Shahaniya SC, on the outskirts of Doha, where he confessed that it is “a dream” to win a World Cup and assured that Portugal is in Qatar with this objective in mind.

“It would be magical, a dream. Winning a World Cup would be a dream and we are here to achieve that goal. Everyone is here to achieve this goal.”

Still, he admitted that there are a lot of favourites: “Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany are the teams that tend to have the most chances. However, in 2016 [at the Europeans], nobody gave any thought to Portugal, and we won. There may be surprises and I hope that this time there will be too.”

The Manchester United forward, 37, will participate in a World Cup for the fifth time, after 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018, having crossed at least three generations of the national team. However, he refused to make comparisons and stressed that “the best generation is always the one that wins”.

“This generation is very good, it has enormous potential, it is a young team, a mix with older ones. It will be nice to see. To win the competition, we have to be the best. We believe that we are the best, but we have to show it on the pitch,” he said.

Portugal's debut in Group H is scheduled for Thursday, against Ghana, at Estádio 974, in Doha, before facing Uruguay, on November 28, and Paulo Bento's South Korea, on December 2.

The 22nd edition of the World Championship runs until December 18, in Qatar.