While Portugal’s threat does revolve
around Ronaldo, Wales have more than
the Real Madrid superstar to worry about
in the Euro 2016 semi-final.
Nobody needs reminding that Cristiano
Ronaldo is one of, if not THE best player
in the world.
But while Wales will have worked on how
to stop the Real Madrid star, it’s not just
the 31 year-old that poses a threat to
Chris Coleman’s boys’ dreams of a place
in the Euro 2016 final.
Portugal are littered with big names, and
although Ronaldo is the only player
everyone talks about, there is no shortage
of alternative threats.
Here are five Portuguese heavyweights
that Wales need to keep an eye on…
This guy seems to have come out of
Sanches joined Benfica when he was just
nine years old and by the time had made
24 appearances and scored two goals for
their first team, Bayern Munich came
calling and paid an incredible £35 million
for his services.
Labelled ‘the new Cristiano Ronaldo’, the
18 year-old wonder kid is a dynamic,
techinally-gifted midfielder who injects
serious pace into the Portugal attack.
Sitting in central midfield, Sanches will
cause problems for Joe Allen and Joe
Ledley and look to stop them from
playing the free-flowing passing game
that we’ve seen from Wales thus far. 2. Nani
Most of us have heard of Nani after his
rather ordinary stint with Manchester
United from 2007-2015.
However, since his move to Fenerbahce
last year, the 29 year-old has come into
his own lining up along side Robin Van
Persie in Turkey.
Eight goals in 28 games for his new side
has seen the former Sporting Lisbon
winger re-ignite his international career
for Portugal and he has impressed so far
in this tournament. Playing along side
Ronaldo in these championships, Nani’s
quick feet and speed have posed
problems for defences and could well do
the same on Wednesday night. 3.Ricardo Quaresma
Also plying his trade in Turkey, Quaresma
is another player who has a wealth of
At 32 years-old, he is another attacking
option for Portugal and has scored eight
goals in 54 appearances for his country.
Having played for some of the biggest
teams in Europe such as Inter Milan and
Chelsea, the Besiktas winger will not feel
the pressure when he steps out on
Providing the winning goal for Portugal’s
win over Croatia, Quaresma is another
whose speed and power could put the
Welsh full-backs under a lot of pressure.
Neil Taylor and either Chris Gunter or
Jazz Richards will have to be on top form
to stop this guy, although Gunter
managed to just about keep Eden Hazard
Moutinho is another who Wales must stop
from controlling the game in the way he
Playing for Monaco since 2013, the 29
year-old has a lot of dangerous traits that
the Welsh will need to think about. In the
absence of Aaron Ramsey, either Jonny
Williams or Andy King will not be able to
give this guy any space. If they do, he can
provide a killer pass.
Moutinho has made 88 appearances for
Portugal since 2005 and the central
midfielder is known for his passing ability.
With the speed of Ronaldo, Nani and
Quaresma, one ball over the top of the
Welsh defence could see Wayne
Moutinho has been quiet in the
tournament so far, but he’s the type of
player that can perform on any occasion.
Gomes is still young but age doesn’t
reflect ability and he is another central
midfielder who could prove to be difficult
Growing up in Portugal and starting his
professional career at Benfica the 22
year-old only has made just 12
appearances for his country, but reported
bids from Manchester United and Chelsea
shows how highly he’s rated around the
Speaking in Portugal’s press conference
at the weekend, Gomes seemed quietly
confident that his team can get a result
against Wales, and progress into the final
of the tournament.
The Valencia midfielder will know the
danger that Gareth Bale possesses, from
facing him in the league.