Euro Cup 2012 semi-final: 'Champions' Spain will be too tough for 'Champion' Ronaldo to overcome
Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
It will be an all Iberian affair in the first semifinal of Euro 2012 which would be played between neighbours Portugal and Spain. But will the charismatic Cristiano Ronaldo take his side to the Euro 2012 final against the star studded Spaniards?
‘La Furia Roja’ have had their shares of troubles in the Euro 2012, yet they have been able to dominate their opponents whenever they played, and in the semi-finals the only trouble that they would be anticipating is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Spaniards are definitely the favourite to advance to the final.
Here are two reasons why the defending Spain champions Spain would reach the final of Euro 2012:
A tight defense capable to strangle CR7
Though Cristiano Ronaldo has inspired Portugal to two good victories with three goals in the past two matches, he was a visibly frustrated figure in the early part of the tournament. His distrust to pass the ball to his teammates was evident as he went about possessing the ball when the need of the hour was to stitch together a play. He also vented out his frustrations openly whenever he was not given the ball, and as a captain, that is a very concerning thing to do. Also he was up against the defenses of the Danes, Dutch and Czechs, none known for their solid backline.
But here, CR7 will have to deal with quality, quality defense probably up to the mark of CR7 ‘s class. The centre-backs Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos are the top notch players one could find in the world and along with them, the likes of his Madrid teammate Alvaro Arbeloa and Jordi Alba in the flanks it would be a tough ask for Ronaldo to get the ball in for his teammates. Also, the combo of Sergio Ramos and the clever Sergio Busquets has the capability to shun the Real Madrid star from the game altogether.
The Spanish Tiki-Taka
The famous Spanish style of play had France on the mat. The French side who had a better showing than Portugal in the tournament did not even manage a proper shot on goal even after having the likes of Ribery, Benzema and in the second half Nasri. So, to expect the Portugal attack, mainly comprising off Ronaldo will get through the Spanish wall; will be optimism of highest order. The trouble would be, even if Ronaldo, Nani and Moutinho get themselves a goal, the Spanish forwards are just too strong for Portugese back four to contain. Like they did against France, Spain would frustrate Portugal with their back and forth passing game and would constantly put the pressure on their Iberian neighbours eventually getting a goal. From then on, the passing would continue with less of the attacking flair but with more and more of ball possession till the stipulated time. Portugal’s only hope of getting themselves ahead of the Spaniards will be to attack through the flanks with Nani and CR7.