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Santos: Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo won't decide semi-final

Sunday, July 03, 2016 Source:

With a place in the Euro 2016 final at stake, Portugal coach Fernando Santos is of the impression that his team's semi-final with Wales will not merely be a question of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo versus domestic team-mate Gareth Bale.

The duo have been key to inspiring their respective nations to success in some key fixtures, but there are other absences and inclusions that could help to mould the fixture on Wednesday evening.

"Cristiano Ronaldo sets an example as captain of this side," Santos told reporters. "He's doing a great job, he wants to win.

"We're going to face a great team. The battle between Ronaldo and Bale isn't going to decide the game.

"While Wales don't have [Aaron] Ramsey and [Ben] Davies, we're without William Carvalho too. Andre Gomes is fit, Guerreiro isn't, but he should be [for the game]."

In terms of Wales' achievements at the tournament, Santos insists that he is yet to see anything from their opposition that he didn't expect.

"I'm not surprised by anything that Wales have done," he added. "Just look at their qualifying campaign, they have quality players.

"Wales play like there is no tomorrow and they give everything on the pitch.

"They are a great side, they're organised, with a coach who knows exactly what they need to do."

In terms of his own players, however, the Selecao coach knows that they need to improve if they are to battle their way to the final.

"We definitely can improve, there's room to," Santos noted. "Perfection doesn't exist, we may and want to improve.

"Getting here is no dream, because I fully trust in my team's quality. I believe we can reach the final, but we need to win the semi first.

"It will be a very tough game, but I am convinced that we will win."

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