Nawalka: Portugal not just Ronaldo

Poland coach Adam Nawalka said his team will not be solely focused on Cristiano Ronaldo when the two sides meet in their Euro 2016 quarter-final on Thursday.

The Real Madrid star will be an obvious threat for Fernando Santos’ team in Marseille, but Nawalka said that Portugal have several other talented players.

“Portugal are a very tricky opponent with great potential. They have players who play at the highest level,” said Nawalka.

“I don’t even want to mention Cristiano Ronaldo, he’s one of the best players in the world and that says a lot about their team. But football is a team game, there is no team for whom one player decides the outcome of the match. I think Portugal present themselves very well as a whole team.

“For us we don’t need to look only at Ronaldo but their other players as well.”

Nawalka added that Poland would stick to their gameplan.

“What is clear about them is how they recover possession, they attack very well, they are very dangerous and we are expecting a very difficult match, but we believe in ourselves, we look to control the game.

“We are full of faith and optimism.”

Poland are expected to keep faith with the 11 players that squeaked past Switzerland on penalties in the first knock-out round, despite a lack of goals.

That includes star forward Robert Lewandowski, who has yet to score in four games.

“Lewandowski is a very important player for our team. I am happy with his performances so far, he’s playing for the team and he’s fulfilling a very important role both as a captain and as a player on the pitch,” said Nawalka.

“He is in very good physical form and mental form, he’s doing a great job for us and let’s keep it that way.

“For me he’s the best number nine in the world.”

Comments