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50% of the Final - Portugal vs Spain @ 7:45pm


gillsminnow

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Portugal vs Spain

669.jpg

Donbass Arena

Kick Off: 7:45pm (8:45pm CET)

Referee: C.Cakir

POR_2.pngESP_1.png

Preview

Tick tock, tick tock. The sound of time running out for either Portugal or holders Spain at UEFA EURO 2012 – or the noise emanating from an explosive Cristiano Ronaldo, fused, primed and waiting to destroy La Roja's title defence?

For Vicente del Bosque, the prolific Real Madrid CF forward could prove an incendiary nightmare in Wednesday's semi-final. "We have to try to deactivate him," explained the Spain coach, displaying a keen feel for the perfect sound bite. The 61-year-old has genuine respect for the entire Portugal side – "a great team" – but the question of how to stop their re-energised No7 remains uppermost in Spanish minds.

"We have to take notice of Ronaldo," added Del Bosque, whose side downed France 2-0 in the last eight. "He's an excellent player and it's logical that there's so much talk about him." In truth, there was plenty of talk when Ronaldo was having a quiet tournament, but, after scoring all three of his team's goals in vital wins against the Netherlands and quarter-final opponents the Czech Republic, many are asking whether he can get his first against Spain in Donetsk.

Del Bosque is taking heart from silencing Ronaldo in South Africa, when Spain defeated their Iberian neighbours 1-0 in the round of 16 en route to FIFA World Cup glory. "We knew how to play against him and how to stop him and we'll try the same tomorrow," he said, before nonetheless insisting that "we don't want to look back" when reminded of his charges' 4-0 friendly loss in Lisbon just four months later.

Presumably, he is reading equally little into the fact that Spain have never lost any of their four major semi-finals. Instead, Del Bosque maintained that he is focused on cultivating his own team's philosophy. "We will be ourselves," he said. "Of course, we have to pay attention to certain details, but it's important to play our game and develop our ideas."

Portugal coach Paulo Bento struck a similar note and would be fielding the same starting lineup for a seventh straight competitive game were it not for Hélder Postiga's thigh injury. Hugo Almeida will now lead the line as the Selecção das Quinas hunt a first ever win against La Roja on foreign soil.

"We have ambition and courage," said Bento. "We know what we have to do. We have to put pressure on our opponents and our aim is not to defend all the time. We won't do that against the world and European champions. I think they know we can cause them problems."

They certainly did that at UEFA EURO 2004, inflicting Spain's most recent defeat in this tournament to knock them out in the group stage. Portugal's own campaign eventually ended with a showpiece loss to Greece, and Bento wants to lead them to another final.

"There can't be any more beautiful opportunity than the one we'll have tomorrow. We could reach the second final in our history and we're all conscious of that. We're aware of our responsibility to the Portuguese people to continue in this tournament." Back home, they will be hearing every second tick down until kick-off.

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I had them in. I liked the kits. Pitiful FOUR images maximum. Badges OUSTED. Blame SI.

Are Portugal actually confirmed as wearing the white kit despite being listed as the home team? Would love your kits to be wrong :D

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Wore it against Germany (when they were the away team but Germany play in white) and against Netherlands where they were listed as the home team. Wore white vs Denmark because they were the away team and Denmark play in red and similarly in the quarters vs Czech Republic. Would imagine as the "home" team they'll take the red kit.

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I hope it's brutal :D

Spain to take a lead and totally control the game but everyone take an intake of breath when Ronaldo gets the ball as he goes on a run with the chance that just one chance and they're level despite Spain's dominance.

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If I was the German chancellor I would threaten everyone by saying whoever wins this tournament doesnt get a bailout...

Ronaldo to nick this. Got a horrible feeling Portugal's winning the tournament.

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I had them in. I liked the kits. Pitiful FOUR images maximum. Badges OUSTED. Blame SI.
Good point. You should, however, combine them into a single image in Photoshop, upload it and then link to that. I'm very demanding.
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I've said all along I think Spain are going to win the tournament and I still do. Gone for 3-1 to Spain. Ronaldo to nick an early goal, Spain to quickly equalise and they stroll it from there.

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Wore it against Germany (when they were the away team but Germany play in white) and against Netherlands where they were listed as the home team. Wore white vs Denmark because they were the away team and Denmark play in red and similarly in the quarters vs Czech Republic. Would imagine as the "home" team they'll take the red kit.

We're going to wear the white kit.

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I had them in. I liked the kits. Pitiful FOUR images maximum. Badges OUSTED. Blame SI.

surely you can combine the two kits into one image?

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For the second time in this tournament, UEFA won't allow a minute's silence or black armbands. Such gentlemen.

apparantly they allowed france to have a minutes silence for some commentator, but for an actual player? heavens forbid

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Good point. You should, however, combine them into a single image in Photoshop, upload it and then link to that. I'm very demanding.

I would've done this :cool: because I don't have a life :D

I really like the Portugal and Spain written in their colors in the OP, though.

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Expecting Portugal to score first but Spain to fight back and win 2-1.

Iniesta to score the first goal and, after del Bosque brings on Navas and Llorente and Llorente scores, he'll see the light and play a striker in the final.

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I'd like to see Spain line up.

          Casillas

           Pique



         Busquets
      Xavi       Alonso
 Navas    Cazorla      Alba
      Silva    Iniesta
         Fabregas

You know it makes sense Vincente :cool:

Should replace Piqué with Martinez, tbh.

in fact negredo looks to be playing finally

Great news if true!

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Should replace Piqué with Martinez, tbh!

Don't be ridiculous, Casillas would have to play the ball too long, need Piqué in there to come and collect it. Plus he's good enough to step into midfield and play a bit if they get overrun in the middle.

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Don't be ridiculous, Casillas would have to play the ball too long, need Piqué in there to come and collect it. Plus he's good enough to step into midfield and play a bit of they get overrun in the middle.

What part of that doesn't fit Martinez as well?

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POR.pngPortugal

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[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]12[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Rui Patrício[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]3[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Pepe[/TD]

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[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]2[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Bruno Alves[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

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[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]5[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Fábio Coentrão[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

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[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]21[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]João Pereira[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]16[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Raul Meireles[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]17[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Nani[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]4[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Miguel Veloso[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]8[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]João Moutinho[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]7[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Cristiano Ronaldo[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

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[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]9[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Hugo Almeida[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=colspan: 2]Coach: Paulo Bento[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

ESP.pngSpain

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[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]1[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Casillas[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]15[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Sergio Ramos[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]17[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Arbeloa[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]3[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Piqué[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]18[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Jordi Alba[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]6[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Iniesta[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]14[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Xabi Alonso[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]8[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Xavi[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]21[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]David Silva[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]16[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Busquets[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: odd, bgcolor: white]

[TD=class: shirtnumber]11[/TD]

[TD=class: player large-link]Negredo[/TD]

[TD=class: bookings][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: even]

[TD=colspan: 3]Coach: Del Bosque[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

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