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Gomes: Portugal not focused on Bale but Wales´ weaknesses

Portugal will focus on Wales’ weaknesses rather than putting a specific plan in place to stop Gareth Bale in their Euro 2016 semi-final on Wednesday, says Andre Gomes.

The final-four encounter has been billed as Cristiano Ronaldo against Bale, with the two Real Madrid stars – key figures for their respective nations – set to go head to head.

However, Gomes believes every player will have a role, with Portugal concentrating on where they can harm Wales.

“We know that Bale is an important player, a reference, like Cristiano is for us, but I do not believe that we are going to have to take special care,” he said.

“What matters is the team. There will not be anything special. We will try to take advantage of the weakness of Wales.

“Here we are all important. There are 23 players, not 11 and three more. We have all worked well.

“Those who played did a great job, as well as those who have supported. This has been one of the secrets.”

Portugal are yet to win a game in France in 90 minutes and required a penalty shoot-out to overcome Poland and book their place in the final four.

Gomes admits there has always been pressure on the national team, but there are greater expectations for young players like himself.

“We were always considered one of the best national teams in the world. There have always been great expectations,” he continued.

“It is true that we are one step away but it’s also true that we still have the semi-final.

“For us newcomers, the expectation is higher. We are going to give the maximum in our next final, on Wednesday, and then enjoy the final of the European Championship.”

After a muscular injury kept the Valencia midfielder out of the quarter-final against Poland, he is confident of making a return against Wales.

“Physical problems are things we have no control over. I have tried to improve every day and now I am feeling better,” said Gomes.

“I have already returned to training with my team-mates. Now I will try to improve until the next game to give my contribution, on or off the pitch.”

Mon 4 Jul, 2016
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