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Portugal coach plays down Ronaldo factor

Proud Portugal coach Paulo Bento has played down Cristiano Ronaldo’s efforts after his drought-breaking double at Euro 2012.

The Real Madrid star was in irresistible form for the Portuguese as his double propelled them into the last eight after a 2-1 with over the Netherlands.

A quarter-final against the Czech Republic now awaits Portugal in Warsaw on Thursday, but despite Ronaldo’s return to form after missing a host of guilt-edged chances in their first two group games against Denmark and Germany, Bento insisted on praising the whole team.

“The individual effort of players is not important,” Bento said.

“The issue of the effort players show for their clubs and country we have already talked about so much. We have discussed that enough.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done as a team and satisfied that we achieved our aim brilliantly.

“We have a certain kind of style, identity and ideas. The players put that into practice.

“Today we can talk about brilliance, it was the best game we have played here. We have been loyal to our spirit and that’s what we’re proud of.”

Portugal trailed following Rafael van de Vaart’s sublime curling strike on 11 minutes, but pummelled the Dutch with a series of attacking moves to clinch a deserved win.

And despite going into the Czech match as overwhelming favourites, Bento was keen to lose that tag.

“We don’t claim to be favourites against the Czech Republic and it won’t be easy against them.

“They’ve shown they have the ability to turn a game and now we must continue our work and the quality we have shown so far. Maybe then we can even reach the semi-finals.”

Mon 18 June, 2012
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