Warsaw: Joao Moutinho has revealed that he and his Portugal team-mates feel blessed to have a ‘complete’ a player as Cristiano Ronaldo within their ranks.
Despite an indifferent start to the tournament, Ronaldo was the hero for Portugal, scoring twice against Netherlands to knock the Oranje out and help his country claim a spot in the quarter finals against Group A winners Czech Republic.
Moutinho hailed Ronaldo`s abilities and believes that having such a key player in the squad is always a good thing.
‘He`s a complete player,’ the midfielder told reporters ahead of the match, ‘I don`t think I could show up any weaknesses. He`s good at heading, with his feet and he`s very quick.
‘He`s a great player, and one that benefits the whole team. We`re delighted to have this player in our squad.’
Portugal are now being talked of as serious title contenders, having come through the tournament`s supposed `Group of Death`, but Moutinho insists that the only thing that matters now is how they perform against the Czechs in Warsaw on Thursday night.
‘We`re only thinking about the quarter-final,’ he explained. ‘We won`t look back. We`re exclusively focused on tomorrow`s game, which will be very, very difficult against an opponent with a great attitude.
‘I think we`ll face a highly-motivated and strong opponent, who are very organised when they counterattack. They`ll do everything they can to progress instead of us.’
Portugal team mate Raul Meireles also praised the Portuguese captain for his key role in the squad.
‘We`re all aware of the great player we have in our national team, in my opinion no less than the best player in the world,’ Meireles added.
‘Everybody wants him to help, that was just what happened against Netherlands and fortunately he scored.’
Meireles will be up against Chelsea team mate Petr Cech on Thursday and he is wary of the presence the goalkeeper brings.
‘I know Petr (Cech) very well,’ Meireles added, “But I`ve not spoken to him. He`s very strong mentally, he`s one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and he has proved that.’
‘The feeling I have is that they`ll come with the desire to win. After losing the first game heavily, they responded very well to finish top of their group.’
BDST: 1205 HRS, June 21, 2012
Edited by: Manoz Halder, Newsroom Editor
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