Nani: Team unity the key

Portugal winger Nani believes that his side’s camaraderie will play a instrumental role in their Euro 2016 quarter-final clash against Poland on Thursday. 

Portugal will consider themselves lucky to have even made it out of the group stages as they finished third on the Group F standings behind Hungary and Portugal.

Poland, meanwhile, were second on the Group C standings, but only goal difference separated them from group winners Germany.

Portugal also found the going tough in their round of 16 match against Croatia as Ricardo Quaresma’s goal in extra time proved to be the deciding factor in their 1-0 win.

Despite not having looked convincing throughout the tournament, Nani is confident that his side will get past Poland.

“We have shown camaraderie and that we are all rowing in the same direction,” Nani told reporters. “I can certainly say that for me, this is the best time in the national team for the group that we have.

“This has been one of the factors that has proved that we are much stronger than before and that we are in a good condition to go as far as possible.”

Nani also pointed out that Portugal have the ability to cause trouble when trailing and used their 3-3 draw against Hungary in the group stages as an example. During that game, Portugal had to come from behind thrice to ensure that the match ended all square.

“I think we have played good games, like against Hungary, where we scored lots of goals and gave an attacking exhibition,” he said. “But it’s clear that it can’t always be like that.”

While Nani wants Portugal to win in style, he made it clear that he is more than ready to see the team abandon playing flamboyant football in order to get the win and stave off elimination.

“Our aim is to go as far as possible and if we need to sacrifice playing well in order to do get a result, we will do so,” he said.

The 29-year-old also insisted that no team are favourites to win Euro 2016 before adding that Portugal will have to be at their best on Thursday if they don’t want to become the next high-profile side to crash out of the tournament.

“There are no favourite teams in this tournament,” Nani said. “We know that Poland is a strong side, with experienced players, and we will have to be at our best to go through.”