Wesley Sneijder has cautioned against the Netherlands paying too much attention to Cristiano Ronaldo in Sunday’s Euro 2012 game with Portugal.
Bert van Marwijk’s men have lost their opening two matches in Group B, going down 1-0 to Denmark in their opener and losing 2-1 to Germany in their following fixture.
The Dutch now have to beat Portugal on Sunday and hope that Joachim Loew’s side defeat the Danes in the other Group B fixture to ensure passage to the quarter-finals.
Ronaldo is likely to be the main threat to Dutch hopes, even though the Real Madrid forward has failed to net so far at Euro 2012, and Sneijder warned his team-mates against being too conscious of the star.
“Portugal are not just Cristiano Ronaldo,” he told Goal.com. “The proof is that he hasn’t scored a goal in the Euros yet, and I hope it stays that way on Sunday.
“If we look at what we have done throughout this year, we can beat Portugal and win well, but that will depend on how we approach the match in the opening minutes. If we score early, anything can happen.
“The situation is beyond difficult, but not impossible. Now we are focused solely on Portugal and on scoring goals, and we will see what happens in the other match.”
Netherlands entered the championship as one of the tournament favourites and Sneijder said he can sympathise with the fans.
“Nobody thought during the pre-tournament camp that we would have no points after the first two games of the Euros. That was totally unexpected for us,” he said.
“The first defeat against Denmark knocked the wind out of us because nobody could understand how we lost that match.
“I understand our fans are disappointed and we are even more so, because before the tournament we saw ourselves with sufficient strength to win it and now we could go out in the first round.”