Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque feels that stopping Cristiano Ronaldo will be key to his side overcoming Portugal tonight and securing a place in their third successive international final.
“I will start with people we trust and of course we have to take notice of Cristiano Ronaldo as he’s an excellent player. It’s logical there has been so much talk about him,” Del Bosque told a UEFA press conference yesterday.
Despite the Real Madrid striker being in such lethal form so far in the competition, Del Bosque was keen to stress that his side will not change their ways because of the Portuguese’s captain. He said: “We will just be ourselves.
“Of course we have to pay attention to certain details of the opponent, but it’s important to play our own game and develop our own ideas.
“You can never tell what will happen. I think we are in a good moment but anything can happen and any detail can be vital for the development of a match.
“Of course I prefer it when the opponent plays in their own half of the pitch. I would like them to close up their defence because we know how to fight against that,” concluded the Spain boss.
The last time Spain lined up against Portugal was back in 2010, when Ronaldo and co. ran out 4-0 winners, taking revenge after the Spanish had dumped them out of the World Cup just months before.
On that defeat, midfielder Andres Iniesta said: ”That was a long time ago and has nothing to do with the match we play tomorrow.
“But everything is important and we have to analyse everything. We have to recognise what Portugal can do if we don’t concentrate.
“Of course it will be a very demanding match and we have to keep it tight in defence.”
La Roja go into tonight’s semi-final knowing that a win would set a new record of 11 consecutive matches unbeaten at the European Championship’s, with captain Iker Casillas having not conceded a knock-out round goal at a major competition since 2006.
The winners of this match will face either Germany or Italy on Sunday in the competition’s final, in Kiev.
(Original post: http://sportsbyte.sunderland.ac.uk/?p=15838)