Portugal's progress rests on Ronaldo's shoulders

By Shrikesh Laxmidas

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's chances of success at the World Cup depend largely on the form of Cristiano Ronaldo but also on whether they can turn their stylish approach play into enough goals.

Matching their fourth place in Germany 2006 will be a tall order, particularly as the Portuguese -- often compared to the Brazilians because of their technical skills -- have been drawn in a tough group that includes Brazil.

Portugal must first play Didier Drogba-led Ivory Coast and North Korea in Group G.

"Ivory Coast is considered to be the team from Africa most likely to get a great result at the World Cup," Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz told reporters. "For us, the first game (Ivory Coast) will be the decisive game in this campaign."

Ronaldo did not score or perform spectacularly in the qualifiers, but a strong debut season for Real Madrid and a desire to outshine Argentina's Lionel Messi may give the winger the impetus to reveal his best form.

Portugal's prospects will also depend on their other forwards leaving their goalscoring troubles behind in Europe. The side struggled in the early qualifiers, missing chance after chance, and had to produce a late surge to reach the finals.

Queiroz then brought in Brazil-born striker Liedson, who chipped in with two important goals. If he and/or Ronaldo hits form, with Nani, Simao and Deco providing the bullets, Portugal could be very hard to stop.

Portugal also have quality at the back even without injured right back Jose Bosingwa, but Pepe would be badly missed if he fails to recover from a knee injury.

(Editing by Robert Woodward)