FIFA World Cup 2018: Portugal-Uruguay clash more than Ronaldo vs Suarez, says Alves

28 June 2018, 03:43 PM
FIFA World Cup 2018: Portugal-Uruguay clash more than Ronaldo vs Suarez, says Alves
FIFA World Cup 2018: Portugal-Uruguay clash more than Ronaldo vs Suarez, says Alves

Portugal defender Bruno Alves said Saturday's FIFA World Cup last-16 match-up between Portugal and Uruguay will be more than a clash between Real Madrid star forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's superstar Luis Suarez.

The Euro winners will face Uruguay in Sochi for a berth in the quarter-finals after finishing as the runners-up in Group B behind 2010 World Cup winners Spain. 

"I don't think it will be a duel between Suarez and Ronaldo," Alves said on Thursday. 

"It's a match between the two teams, Portugal and Uruguay, and we'll do everything we can to win."

Uruguay won all three matches in their group, beating hosts Russia 3-0 in their last group game, and are the only team yet to concede a goal at FIFA's flagship event.

Portuguese skipper Ronaldo has scored four of Portugal's five goals in the tournament so far, while Barcelona star Suarez struck against Saudi Arabia and Russia.

"At this stage we still believe we have room for improvement," Alves said.

"I think we will win, but you can't forget you can only win if you play well and I think we'll play well."

The 36-year-old Rangers centre-back is participating at his third World Cup, although Alves is yet to make an appearance in Russia. 

"I feel that we're always highly motivated. I think all of us have come here to play and when our moment comes we will be ready for it to help Portugal win," he said.

"I think this Portugal team is ready for everything. We've shown we have the chance to win and if we keep it up this way I think we'll be successful. There are difficult games in store for us though."

The Seleccao das Quinas survived a late scare against Iran on Monday, as Ronaldo missed a penalty and was extremely fortunate to escape a red card for an elbow.

Portugal have not lost a competitive match with Ronaldo at their helm since the 2014 World Cup, but were beaten on penalties by Chile at last year's Confederations Cup.

"Everybody can see that in this World Cup there are no easy games," Alves said.

"Germany's fate made it clear what can happen to any strong team."

Uruguay are hopeful Jose Maria Gimenez will return from injury to resume his centre-back partnership with Atletico Madrid team-mate Diego Godin.

First Published: Thursday, June 28, 2018 03:23 PM
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