Portuguese president wishes football team success for World Cup

AFP| Last Updated: Jun 02, 2014, 22:58 PM IST

Lisbon: Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva Monday wished the national football team success in the FIFA World Cup starting June 12 in Brazil.

"I want to wish you all, players and technical team, the best success in Brazil, that you will give joy to the Portuguese," Cavaco Silva told the players at the Presidential Palace, reported Xinhua.

"You should not have the smallest doubt that, despite the distance, the Portuguese will be by your side, with enthusiasm, joy and with strong hope, and with the conviction that you are giving the best of yourselves in the name of Portugal."

He said the team would be "ambassadors for Portugal" during the World Cup and handed them a national flag, asking them to take it with them to Brazil.

The World Cup will start from June 12 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and end July 13.

Portugal, which is in Group G, will face Mexico June 6 and Ireland June 10 for their warm-up games.

Portugal were held to a 0-0 draw with Greece Saturday in a World Cup warm-up at the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon, as they struggled without Cristiano Ronaldo, who picked up an injury during the end of the Champions League May 24.

Ronaldo was also absent Monday in the warm-up before the big game, and there are concerns regarding whether Portugal would be able to make it in the World Cup without Ronaldo`s presence.

Ronaldo arrived a week to the warm-up, due to Real Madrid`s presence in the European Champions League final, and is said to be at his hotel receiving treatment along with players Pepe and Raul Meireles.