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 Post subject: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:56 am 
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Spain and Portugal agree – it's all about Cristiano Ronaldo

A simple way of looking at the semi-final between Portugal and Spain might be as a contest between the individual brilliance of one man and the collective genius of an entire squad

Richard Williams - Guardian.co.uk


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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo had a slow start to Euro 2012 but came alive to score three goals on the way to the semi-final against Spain. Photograph: Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

Paulo Bento barely raised an eyebrow when he was informed on Tuesday that 95% of Ukraine's womenfolk will be cheering for Cristiano Ronaldo in Wednesday's semi-final. "Wherever he goes, they will be there," declared the local journalist who had produced the statistic.

"If it is 95% now," the Portugal head coach responded, "I think after the match Cristiano might even have the last 5% cheering for him."

A simple way of looking at the match between Portugal and Spain on Wednesday night might be as a contest between the individual brilliance of one man and the collective genius of an entire squad. Can the defending champions, perhaps the most team-minded outfit of all time, stop the captain of Portugal from becoming the star of the tournament?

Just about the only thing lacking in Ronaldo's trophy cabinet is a winner's medal from a major international tournament. Eight years ago, aged 19, he was a losing finalist in Lisbon against Greece but was named in the team of the tournament. Two years later he played in a World Cup semi-final defeat at France's hands, then went out of Euro 2008 in the quarter-finals to Germany. Two years ago in South Africa it was Spain who eliminated Portugal in the round of 16.

"It's normal for there to be lots of talk about Ronaldo," Vicente del Bosque, Bento's opposite number, said during his own press conference. "He's one of the best players in the world, he never goes unnoticed."

At the start of this tournament, Ronaldo was chiefly being noticed for his failure to make an early impact. Following Portugal's opening defeat by Germany, he contributed little to the desperate 3-2 defeat of Denmark. But then he woke up, to spectacular effect, with two brilliant goals that determined the outcome against Holland, followed by the late header that snatched victory in the quarter-final against the Czech Republic.

Had Del Bosque not been bizarrely sacked by Real Madrid in 2003, the day after he had added another Spanish title to the two European Cups he won with the club, he might still have been around to work with Ronaldo, who arrived at the Bernabéu from Manchester United in 2009 to embark on a sequence of remarkable goalscoring feats. It would have been interesting to watch a working partnership between the sober, old-school coach, who lost his job in Madrid because the Real hierarchy believed he was not charismatic enough to work with the new generation of galácticos, and a player who could be seen as the galáctico of all galácticos, as long as that description did not imply any criticism of his commitment to the business of winning football matches.

There will be plenty of familiar faces from Valdebebas, the Real Madrid training centre, on both sides on Wednesday. In the shirt of Portugal will be Pepe, the centre-back, and Fábio Coentrão, the left-back. Among the opposition will be Iker Casillas, Real's goalkeeper, the midfielder Xabi Alonso and the defenders Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Arbeloa with another defender, Raúl Albiol, on the bench.

Ronaldo plays on the left of the front three for Portugal, switching positions only occasionally, and Arbeloa, the former Liverpool right-back, will have the job of keeping him quiet. "I haven't spoken to him," he said on Tuesday. "I probably won't until I see him tomorrow. We don't know yet if I am playing but if I have to play against him – well, we all know what level he has. He's scored three goals and he's playing really well.

" He's a demanding player to face, mentally and physically. When you play against the best, people who are playing spectacularly well, it's always tough. You know you have to be at your very best. I like to measure myself against the best players of the world and it's a great challenge. Of course you can't stop him for 90 minutes, but it's a nice battle."

Alvaro Negredo, the Seville forward who made the briefest of appearances off the bench in the group match against Croatia, said defenders will have to be careful not to commit offences in positions that would offer Ronaldo the chance to exercise his dead‑ball magic. "We know he's a great free-kick taker, and it's important not to give away stupid fouls," he said, before reminding himself of the benefits of having a side packed with Ronaldo's club-mates. "We have the best goalkeeper in the world. He knows him. He'll know how to stop him."

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:55 am 
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Portugal are gonna have a rough time of it today!

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Ronaldo will get stressed out, and then start to shoot everytime he gets the ball, and shout at everyone around him. Portugal's team is pretty mediocre for the most part, their midfield looks particularly suspect, and I can't see the centre backs keeping Spain at bay. Pepe could well get sent off :lol:

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idontfeardeath wrote:
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But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Ronaldo to be superman. Hatrick of goals from 35-40 yards :fonz:

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:11 pm 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
Ronaldo to be superman. Hatrick of goals from 35-40 yards :fonz:


Against Casillas? I would be amazed if that happened.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
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But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:20 pm 
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3-0 Spain. Xavi to make 38,000 5 yard passes. Ronaldo to be a massive diva and flap his arms around a lot and get completely marked out the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Serbinator wrote:
3-0 Spain. Xavi to make 38,000 5 yard passes. Ronaldo to be a massive diva and flap his arms around a lot and get completely marked out the game.

Sounds about right. Even if Nani has a good game I can see the passing carousel killing Portugal to bits.

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Negrado starts up top for Spain ahead of Fabregas & Torres bit of a suprise selection


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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Is a victory for Portugal a victory for playing football with at least one striker then?

idontfeardeath wrote:
Ronaldo to be superman. Hatrick of goals from 35-40 yards :fonz:


It'd be nice. :fonz: He'll have to keep his cool and not shoot on sight then.

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:18 pm 
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I dont get this Spain are boring because they don't play strikers.

They're boring because everyone defends deep and play for a 0-0 so there's no need for a striker who runs in behind.

What are Spain supposed to do if everyone sets up a brick wall on the edge of their penalty box and says get through that?

Spain are only boring IMO because the opposition don't try and attack them meaning the games become so one sided.


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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:42 pm 
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JSP wrote:
I dont get this Spain are boring because they don't play strikers.

They're boring because everyone defends deep and play for a 0-0 so there's no need for a striker who runs in behind.

What are Spain supposed to do if everyone sets up a brick wall on the edge of their penalty box and says get through that?

Spain are only boring IMO because the opposition don't try and attack them meaning the games become so one sided.


Doesn't necessarily make them boring, but it is certainly unusual not having a single striker in the starting XI. Defensive teams have been slammed for this CB to LB, LB to CB, CB to RB... and repeat strategy, and I know it's not exactly what they're doing and they do play some great football tbf, but I can see where the slight similarities are drawn, of that ultra-patient build up.

No denying that they're a fine team though, they have no real area of weakness, except maybe their ruthlessness at times... and they barely need to resort to that mostly, or fighting it out, and that's where maybe teams can get at them.... a bit of scrapping and attacking them more than most teams dare? :dunno:

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:46 pm 
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And we're off http://premier--streams.info/

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:01 pm 
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England played 2 CF's in 3 of our 4 games and we were arguably the most defensive side in the whole tournament.

I think it's a bit of a myth if you've got that many good AM's that can interchange you don't really need a striker they basically play 4 inter changing attackers and it's part of a game plan.

The strikers they have only really work if there is space in behind to run into otherwise they're largely pointless when the AM's they have are such good finishers.


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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:05 pm 
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JSP wrote:
England played 2 CF's in 3 of our 4 games and we were arguably the most defensive side in the whole tournament.

I think it's a bit of a myth if you've got that many good AM's that can interchange you don't really need a striker they basically play 4 inter changing attackers and it's part of a game plan.

The strikers they have only really work if there is space in behind to run into otherwise they're largely pointless when the AM's they have are such good finishers.


I didn't say I agreed with it, I can just see why it's said. And good point, RE England.

And I suppose with a midfield like that you can play how you like.

Nice to see Portugal up for this btw.

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Great work by Portugal, they must be gutted there was an appeal for the penalty... they just left the ball to be cleared after all that hard work! :doh:

Shows what closing Spain down can do though.

Then nearly Iniesta. Entertaining game this.

Dunno WTF the ref just blew for after that Nani run? I was already thinking the ref was bent/useless/a Spaniard, but that was absolutely ridiculous.

Ronaldo. :ohmy:

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Great half by Portugal, and for the neutral. I think they've been the better side too, despite all the hype around Spain.

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:41 pm 
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I really shouldn't be watching. But I'm engrossed. :ninja:

Portugal giving as good as they get. Nani and Ronaldo have been impressive, as have Moutinho, Veloso and Meireles. They're putting up a surprising fight against the Spanish pass-masters. England could learn a few lessons in closing down from the Portuguese.

EDIT: Not impressed by the Beeb's a*se-lickery of Ronaldo, though. Way OTT.

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Last edited by Riquelminho on Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:47 pm 
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Portugal showing that if you press Spain and work as hard as they do you can get at them.

Maybe Alonso or Busquets off drop Iniesta alongside Xavi in midfield and get Pedro/Navas on & if Negredo doesn't improve change the striker.

Nani playing brilliantly for Portgual.

Would love to see Moutinho at Utd got all the tools to be a success in the Premier League


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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:53 pm 
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Spanish are a very different team to the ones we've seen. They're really gonna have to make changes 'cos at the moment, they couldn't score a brothel, as they say. Quite poor. No rhythm at all. If I was Torres, I'd be totally peed off.

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 Post subject: Re: Portugal v Spain
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Riquelminho wrote:
I really shouldn't be watching. But I'm engrossed. :ninja:

Portugal giving as good as they get. Nani and Ronaldo have been impressive, as have Moutinho, Veloso and Meireles. They're putting up a surprising fight against the Spanish pass-masters. England could learn a few lessons in closing down from the Portuguese.


I wondered how long you could resist. :D

90 minutes off studying will do you good* anyway.

Definitely. I wonder if the England players and Woy especially are learning a lesson here, attack has always been the best form of defence... if you've got the nuts to go for it.


* probably

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