‘NO ONE MAN TEAM CLASH'

Por­tu­gal’s Alves says clash against Uruguay more than a Ron­aldo v Suarez shootout

Afro Voice (Western Cape) - - Northern Cape News -

POR­TU­GAL de­fender Bruno Alves said to­mor­row’s World Cup last 16 clash with Uruguay will be more than sim­ply a bat­tle be­tween Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Luis Suarez.

The Euro­pean cham­pi­ons will face Uruguay in Sochi for a place in the quar­ter­fi­nals af­ter fin­ish­ing as run­ners­up be­hind Spain in Group B. Uruguay won all three of their group matches, beat­ing hosts Rus­sia 3­0 in their last out­ing and are the only team yet to con­cede a goal at the tour­na­ment.

Real Madrid for­ward Ron­aldo has scored four of Por­tu­gal’s five goals so far, while Barcelona star Suarez net­ted against Saudi Ara­bia and Rus­sia.

“I don’t think it will be a duel be­tween Suarez and Ron­aldo,” Alves said yes­ter­day.

“It’s a match be­tween the two teams and we’ll do ev­ery­thing we can to win.”

Por­tu­gal sur­vived a late scare against Iran on Mon­day as Ron­aldo missed a penalty and was for­tu­nate to es­cape a red card for an el­bow jab.

“At this stage we still be­lieve we have room for im­prove­ment,” Alves said.

“I think we will win but you can’t for­get you can only win if you play well and I think we’ll play well.”

The 36­year­old Alves is at his third World Cup, al­though the Rangers cen­tre­back has yet to make an ap­pear­ance in Rus­sia.

“I feel that we’re al­ways highly mo­ti­vated. I think all of us have come here to play and when our mo­ment comes we will be ready for it to help Por­tu­gal win.

“This Por­tu­gal team is ready for ev­ery­thing. We’ve shown we have the chance to win and if we keep it up this way we’ll be suc­cess­ful. There are dif­fi­cult games in store for us though.”

Por­tu­gal have not lost a com­pet­i­tive match with Ron­aldo in the side since the 2014 World Cup, al­though they were beaten on penal­ties by Chile at last year’s Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup.

Alves sounded a note of cau­tion fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Ger­many.

“Ev­ery­body can see that in this World Cup there are no easy games,” Alves said.

“Ger­many’s fate made it clear what can hap­pen to any strong team.”

Uruguay are hope­ful Jose Maria Gimenez will re­turn from in­jury to re­sume his cen­tre­back part­ner­ship with Atletico Madrid team­mate Diego Godin. – AFP

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