Portugal Euro 2012 Camp Focus – Ronaldo in spotlight as team prepare for Czech Republic

Portugal’s Euro 2012 campaign has been built on hard-work, leadership and passion, yet still the spotlight is on Cristiano Ronaldo in the build-up to a quarter final against the Czech Republic. The Portuguese captain is unable to get out of the press, despite his arguably average performance in a tournament where the chances he created should have seen his goal tally extend further than the two he currently holds.

The midfield trio of Raul Meireles, Miguel Veloso and Joao Moutinho have been the standouts and were able to stop an attacking flow from Holland in the final group game, but Moutinho’s pre-match words were focused on his captain. When asked whether he would rather have Ronaldo or Lionel Messi in his side, the Sporting Lisbon midfielder never faltered in praising the 27-year-old and the fact that he ‘is a very complete player in all aspects‘.

It is understandable that the focus is based on Ronaldo. After all, 46 goals in La Liga as Real Madrid won the title adds more pressure and attracts more attention. However, for Portugal, Ronaldo’s Euro 2012 has seen the talk flatter him more than the performance. The press conference for Moutinho was dominated by Ronaldo-related questions and even Czech Republic playmaker Tomas Rosicky was asked about how they will stop the Madrid winger.

Ronaldo talk seems to have relaxed the pressure on the Portuguese side, whose formation depends on their counter-attacking style. This has drawn criticism from former internationals Luis Figo and Rui Costa, but Paulo Bento does not care for their words and has continued to play his style. Ronaldo is allowed to play in an attacking left position and the midfield trio’s leg work covers both him and the Manchester United winger Nani on the right side.

The Selec

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