All want to stop Ronaldo, but he still scores: Calisto
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Henrique Calisto, the Portuguese former head coach of the Vietnamese national football squad, had an interview with Tuoi Tre prior to the first Euro 2012 semifinal, between his nation and reigning champions Spain, which is set to kick off Wednesday in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Spain is considered to be better than Portugal, but it is the latter who receive the most support from fans, as they expect to see a new factor in the tournament final.
“Everyone can see that Spain has more advantages than Portugal, with their ace players and cohesive style,” said Calisto.
“They also think Portugal is not a rival that is at the same level with them.
“Personally I see some positive signs in my country’s team. For instance, they made progress after each game, which is very important because it will make the players more confident in challenging the strong Spanish opponent,” he said.
* Spain’s coach Del Bosque said he will find ways to stop Ronaldo. What do you think about his comment?
Every coach says the same thing before any game with Ronaldo, but he still scores. Ronaldo netted 60 goals for Real Madrid last season when every club knew how dangerous he is. Generally speaking, every team wants to stop him, but he still has regular goals.
* It is predicted that Portugal’s coach Paulo Bento will focus on defending and will take advantage of the high speed of players such as Nani and Ronaldo to find goals…
If he uses this tactic, coach Bento has to be sure that the Portuguese players are fit enough to follow. Portugal’s defending force will face hard pressure from the Spanish midfielders. Once the pressure becomes strong enough, Spain can score at any time. I think the most important thing is that Bento should curb the strength of Spain’s midfield force. Only by successfully doing this can Portugal have a successful game.
*Besides the clash between the two teams’ stars, the dual between coaches Bento and Del Bosque is also anticipated…
I don’t think Bento needs to prove anything in the dual with Del Bosque. What he really wants is to see his team win the match. Hence, he will focus on the team instead of thinking of challenging Del Bosque.
Moreover, we can also see that the two are in two different circumstances. Del Bosque has led many clubs, including Real Madrid, and took Spain to win the 2010 World Cup. So there is no reason he would compete with Bento.
* Are Portuguese people upbeat about the semi?
Not really, as you also know how strong Spain is.. But the Portuguese have reasons for their hope, especially when we look back to a friendly game in 2010, when we trounced them 4 – 0.
* What is your personal prediction?
I think Portugal will have a positive result. I believe in this as Portugal has been proving their strength against the big rivals. I think 90 minutes is enough to decide who will advance to the final.