Portuguese winger Nani sends out warning to Croatia ahead of today’s crucial Round-of-16 encounter in Lens, France
Lyon: Portugal winger Nani believes star striker Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace against Hungary in their last Euro group encounter has helped silence the captain’s critics.
Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo (right) celebrates a goal against Hungary with teammate Nani during their Euro 2016 encounter in Lyon, France on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images
Real Madrid star Ronaldo had two tough games and failed to score against Iceland and Austria. But he was the force behind Portugal’s 3-3 stalemate against Hungary on Wednesday.
“Everyone knows Cristiano and what he can do at any time, in any minute, in a game. I am 100 per cent sure he will go on and score more goals now. No one can say anything against him. He is a fantastic player,” Nani was quoted as saying by ESPNFC yesterday.
“Every time he is faced with difficult moments, he delivers. He showed it again against Hungary when everyone was talking about him. He has shut them all up now.”
Nani also said he was pleased that they could score three against Hungary after suffering from a goal drought in the first two games where they netted just one.
“I think Cristiano has always been there, always playing well for us throughout the tournament. It doesn’t mean that when he is not scoring, he is not playing well. We had two great performances in our other games as well but we promised we’d score against Hungary and we have got three so I am very pleased,” the Fenerbahce player said.
“Obviously I am disappointed that we conceded three but we were a bit unlucky with the bounce on two of them. So we’re happy, we’re in the next stage, We will focus on that and keep believing we can reach our targets.” Portugal will now face a strong Croatian side in the pre-quarterfinal on Saturday but Nani said they are here to win the trophy and it does not matter to him as to who they face along the way. “Before we came here we said our ambitions were very high. We said we wanted to win this competition. Any team we play, we must believe we can win so it doesn’t matter who we will face now,” Nani said.
Did you know?
Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo has had 30 shots on goal at Euro 2016 — the most by any player. Wales’ Gareth Bale is second with 17 and Belgium’s Kevin de Bruyne third with 10 shots
Croatia vs Portugal: Sony Six, Sony Six HD, 00:30 (Sunday)