Euro 2012: I don’t feel any pressure, says Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo insists he feels no pressure ahead of Portugal's semi-final tie against Spain at the European championship
Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he feels no pressure ahead of Portugal’s semi-final against defending champions Spain on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old initially struggled at Euro 2012, failing to score against Denmark and Germany in Portugal’s opening group games.
But he netted twice against the Netherlands in the final Group B tie and then produced the winner in Portugal’s 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic in the last eight.
“These games are part of my life,” said Ronaldo.
“I have to be used to them. Responsibility yes, pressure no. I knew the goals would come. It didn’t start very well, but with the sacrifices of my team-mates everything improved.”
Ronaldo scored 46 goals in La Liga as the Portugal captain helped Real Madrid win the Spanish title, and the former Manchester United talisman will come up against a number of familiar faces on Wednesday.
But the forward is adamant Portugal will not adopt a different approach to the tie just because it is a semi-final against the holders.
“It will be a hard clash in which Portugal has to do very well to beat Spain,” he continued.
“You have to prepare for the match in the same way that we prepared for the others. We don’t have to do anything different.”
The last time Portugal met Spain at a European championship, Nuno Gomes scored the winner in the group stage of Euro 2004.
The hosts went on to suffer a surprise 1-0 loss to Greece in the final that year – and Ronaldo hopes to go one step further in Poland and Ukraine.
“It’s nice that Portugal have a chance to reach another final after eight years,” he added. “It will be difficult but we are only one step away.”
Pre-match facts: Portugal v Spain
• The Iberian rivals first met in Madrid in December 1921, Spain prevailing 3-1. They have largely held the upper hand ever since, with a record against Portugal of P34 W15 D12 L7 F70 A43.
• Pique, along with Xavi Hernández, Víctor Valdes, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and substitute Pedro Rodríguez, was part of the Barcelona team that overcame the Manchester United of Ronaldo and Nani 2-0 in the 2009 Champions League final in Rome.
• Ronaldo and Pepe were on the losing side in a Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid against Spain’s Barcelona contingent in 2010-11, although Ronaldo’s header did earn Madrid victory in that season’s Spanish Cup final between the teams.
• Ronaldo has scored six European championship finals goals, matching Nuno Gomes’ national record.