Tiago aiming for top spot
Portugal midfielder keen to avoid all-Iberian encounter
By Razwan Mirza. Last Updated: June 23, 2010 7:25pm
Tiago: High hopes
Midfielder Tiago is harbouring hopes of finishing at the top of World Cup Group G and avoiding a potential second round meeting against Spain.
Portugal are currently preparing to face five-times champions Brazil in Durban on Friday in a much anticipated encounter.
Tiago says he would not want to face Spain in the last 16, which could only come about if the Portuguese were to finish in second place in their group and the European champions top theirs or vice versa.
He commented: "I would prefer not to. Truthfully, Spain is a superb team, but for the moment our sole interest is to beat Brazil and finish top of the group. After that we will see.
"We want to finish top of what is a very strong and difficult group.
"In the final match, our destiny is in our hands. We are going into the match with Brazil with the intention of winning and finishing top of our group."
Tiago, who hit a brace in Portugal's 7-0 demolition of the North Koreans, also revealed that captain Cristiano Ronaldo had made a touching gesture following his man of the match award on Monday.
"It was a really nice gesture by Cristiano Ronaldo which I had not been expecting," admitted Tiago.
"When I got back to the dressing room, I saw the man of the match trophy in my place and he told me he had put it there because I deserved it more than he did.
"That was a really good thing the captain did and it really touched me to the bottom of my heart. It is not every day that one gets such an award."