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Portugal chief hoping for Ronaldo show

SoccerNews in European Championships 27 Jun 2012

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Portuguese Football Federation (FFP) director Joao Pinto hopes Cristiano Ronaldo can inspire them during their Euro 2012 semi-final with Spain.

The Real Madrid star has led from the front for his nation thus far in Poland and Ukraine, scoring crucial goals against the Netherlands in the group stages and Czech Republic in the quarter-finals to sit alongside German striker Mario Gomez at the top of the Golden Boot standings.

And Pinto is hoping the forward can continue his heroics against Portugal’s Iberian neighbours and catapult them into the Euro 2012 final on Sunday evening.

“All the players woke up in a good mood, with ambition, and we hope that Cristiano Ronaldo is inspired and that he will help us to win the match,” Pinto said.

Despite singling out Ronaldo, the Benfica icon backed all of Paulo Bento’s men to perform and stressed his pride at their performances so far in the tournament.

“Today I hope that it will be the day of all the players because, if that is the case, it will also be our day,” he said.

“The players have been extraordinary for the behaviour they have shown on and off the field. They are always focused on the matches.

“I am very proud, regardless of what happens from now on. This has been a month of great professionalism and commitment.”

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