Without Jose Mourinho in the front, Cristiano Ronaldo feels it’s his obligation to step up and be his team’s premier trash talker and media motivator. About what? About the Spanish complaints that fatigue and lack of rest compared with Portugal players will hurt them in the Semifinal.
Spain played their quarter final against France on Saturday, meaning they’ll be after four days of rest when the Iberian derby begins in Donetsk on Wednesday, June 27. Portugal played their quarterfinal against the Czech Republic on June 21, meaning they got two more days of rest. An advantage? Maybe, but someone always rests more in these tournament. Four days, despite the long season everyone had, is enough to get ready for another challenge.
While the Spaniard are dropping hints at how the combo of fatigue and heat will affect them, Cristiano Ronaldo thinks it’s all BS, and they should stop their whining and get on with it. Less rest will be no excuse, and he’s right, because the fans and the press won’t let Spain, pretty big favorites to advance into the finals, off the hook at the pretense of tiredness if the fail against Portugal.
Ronaldo – Three days’ rest is more than enough. The Spaniards claimed having two days is a disadvantage but, as a professional, I believe it is not an important factor.
Does the pressure and the magnitude of the match get to him, especially against Spain? I don’t feel pressure playing against Spain. These games are part of my life. I have spent 10 years playing these type of games for club and country and I have to be accustomed to it. I feel responsibility, yes. But pressure, no. It’s beautiful for Portugal to be able to reach another final, it will be difficult but we are only one step away. We have done great work to get here not only in the finals but also in the qualifiers.
When Ronaldo talks about the qualifying, he tends to forget that Portugal nearly missed out on the tournament, having to go through a playoff (vs Bosnia) for a second straight tournament. In the Euro itself he’s joint top scorer with three goals so far, scoring in Portugal’s last two wins.
Vicente Del Bosque – We have two fewer days to rest than them. It is a small handicap. I am thinking about this problem. We have arrived very drained because the heat we suffered tonight was cruel on the players.
Tired or not, Spain are the favorites to win this one. They haven’t been pleasing those who think this is some sort of Barcelona extension. Spain are here to win the tournament by doing what they do best – short passing in the middle of the pitch, with extreme patience, until their opponents make a mistake. It won’t be any different against Portugal.