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13 May, 2017 18:39

Ronaldinho expects footballers to be ‘inspired’ at FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia

Ronaldinho expects footballers to be ‘inspired’ at FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia

The FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia is the 'final hurdle' before the 2018 World Cup, Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho told RT, adding that he expects a high level of motivation from players during the event this summer.

Ronaldinho said the players will be “inspired” when they arrive in Russia for the tournament this summer. 

“A footballer, who played well in this competition, practically guarantees himself a ticket to the World Cup,” the 2002 World Cup winner said. 

Ronaldinho, a double FIFA World Player of the Year, also described the Confederations Cup as “a very important tournament.”

“I think that’s the reason why athletes come to this event with such motivation is that they know that this is the final hurdle before the World Cup. Every footballer wants to make it to the World Cup, so everyone tries to prove themselves in the best possible way,” the Brazilian said.

READ MORE: French legend Desailly opens 2017 Confederations Cup Park in Moscow (VIDEO)

Ronaldinho was speaking in city of Kazan where he arrived on Saturday with former Nigerian football star Jay-Jay Okocha to take part in the opening of the city's Confederations Cup Park.

The two played alongside each other in France for Ligue 1 team Paris Saint-Germain. 

The players took a tour of Kazan Arena, where Ronaldinho showcased his ability to score from the penalty spot. The stadium will stage Confederations Cup and also FIFA 2018 World Cup. 

Similar parks have previously been opened in Moscow and Sochi, with one more to open in the last remaining host city of St. Petersburg on May 20-21.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, scheduled to take place between June 17 and July 2, 2017, is seen as Russia’s dress rehearsal ahead of the World Cup which the country hosts next year.

READ MORE: 'The team’s showing its character, the fans appreciate that' – Russian head coach Cherchesov

The tournament will bring together champions of FIFA’s six regional confederations: Portugal, Chile, Mexico, Cameroon, Australia, New Zealand; as well as current World Cup holders Germany, and host nation Russia.