Hope we can 'defuse' explosive Ronaldo: Del Bosque

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Donetsk, Jun 27: Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque hopes his players can 'deactivate' the explosive winger Cristiano Ronaldo in their semi-final clash against Portugal on Wednesday in Donetsk.

Ronaldo was criticised for not having a great tournament with Portugal in Euro 2012, but having scored three winning goals to push his side to the last-four, the Real Madrid star could possibly carry his side to their first ever major tournament success. However, their Iberian rivals Spain will aim to make life difficult for the Portuguese captain.

"We have to try to deactivate him," Del Bosque, who described Portugal as 'a great side', said. "We have to take notice of Ronaldo. He's an excellent player and it's logical that there's so much talk about him," Del Bosque was quoted as saying in UEFA.com.

Spain got the better of Portugal and their star man during the 2010 World Cup quarter-final when Del Bosque's side won 1-0. "We knew how to play against him and how to stop him and we'll try the same tomorrow," he said. But insisted that "we don't want to look back" after Spain lost 4-0 in a friendly in Lisbon four months later.

However, Spanish boss did not focus on history but instead is trying to cultivate his own philosophy, "We will be ourselves. Of course, we have to pay attention to certain details, but it's important to play our game and develop our ideas," the former Real Madrid boss said.

Del Bosque's opposition Paulo Bento will field the same line-up against Spain except forward Helder Postiga who injured himself during the win against Czech Republic in the quarter-final. Hugo Almeida will start upfront along side Nani and Ronaldo in supporting roles.

"We have ambition and courage. We know what we have to do. We have to put pressure on our opponents and our aim is not to defend all the time. We won't do that against the world and European champions. I think they know we can cause them problems," Bento said.

Portugal eliminated Spain in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals but are yet to beat their Iberian rivals away from home. Coach Bento aims to take his side to yet another final against either Germany or Italy, if they progress.

"There can't be any more beautiful opportunity than the one we'll have tomorrow. We could reach the second final in our history and we're all conscious of that. We're aware of our responsibility to the Portuguese people to continue in this tournament," Bento said.

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