Spain will combat Ronaldo: Maradona
Warsaw: Argentina legend Diego Maradona does not believe world and European champions Spain will change their game plan in an attempt to stifle the threat of Portugal`s influential forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Seleccao captain Ronaldo has been in scintillating form of late, grabbing three goals in his previous two games to guide his side into the Euro 2012 semi-finals.
However, despite the obvious threat posed by the Real Madrid man, Maradona does not expect Vicente del Bosque`s side to alter their approach in an attempt to nullify his impact.
"They won`t double team him as it`s not their style," wrote Maradona in a coloumn. "They will try to dominate possession so he only sees the ball 10 per cent of the game."
But Maradona conceded that Ronaldo could well hold the key to the tournament hopes of Paulo Bento`s side, citing his desire to be crowned the best player in the world as the driving force behind his improved performances.
He continued: "Cristiano, in great form, will have to fight the entire game for the one ball that will give him a chance on goal.
"In the form he is in, given the chance, he will score. Cristiano wants to bring his team to the final and show why he should be considered the best player in the world."
Maradona also pinpointed a number of individual battles that will determine the outcome of the match, and believes an early goal for the Seleccao will change its complexion.
"Key individual battles to watch will be Cesc Fabregas against Pepe, Nani against (Sergio) Ramos, (Raul) Meireles against (Sergio) Busquets, (Miguel) Veloso against (Andres) Iniesta and Cristiano against any of the Spanish defenders, like (Gerard)Pique, (Alvaro) Arbeloa, Ramos or Jordi Alba," he added.
"The Portuguese must try to keep high up the field, and not be pressed into their own area like the French. They must challenge the Spanish on every ball, try to establish their own possession and look for weakness. Easy to say; very difficult to do.”
"The Spanish play less effectively when they are behind than when they are ahead, so not allowing the first goal will be crucial."
The two sides meet on Wednesday night in Donetsk, with kick-off scheduled for 20:45CET.