Arbeloa wants Ronaldo duel
Spain defender looking forward to facing his Madrid team-mate
Last Updated: June 26, 2012 5:33pm
Alvaro Arbeloa: The Real Madrid defender says Spain are confident ahead of their Euro 2012 semi-final showdown against Portugal
Alvaro Arbeloa says he is crossing his fingers in the hope that he will be 'lucky' enough to have the job of marking Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain's Euro 2012 semi-final against Portugal.
The Real Madrid full-back has watched his club team-mate tear defences apart in the league in an outstanding season for the winger in which he scored a phenomenal 60 goals.
But trying to stop the former World Player of the Year holds no fears for the 29-year-old, who says he will make sure he is "mentally and physically" psyched up for the task on Wednesday.
"You have to be prepared mentally and physically, especially against someone like this," said Arbeloa.
"He's one of the best players in the world. It's very demanding, physically and mentally. You have to be on top of your game.
"You can't stop him for the whole 90 minutes, but it's a great challenge for me. I like to measure myself against the best in the world.
"I haven't spoken to him. I will probably speak to him tomorrow, when I see him, but we don't know the starting line-ups yet.
"If I'm lucky, the coach (Vicente del Bosque) will put me there and I'll play against him. We all know his level's been very high at this Euro.
"He's very difficult to play against and very confident, but we will try to stop him. It's not easy to stop Ronaldo. He has scored three goals and has played some really good games.
"But we know Portugal are not just about Cristiano Ronaldo. They have lots of good players, like Nani, who are having a good tournament. They have players with lots of quality and we have to stop all of them."
Aside from Ronaldo, Arbeloa can also expect to come up against his other Madrid team-mates Pepe and Fabio Coentrao but insists friendships will be put aside while the match is on.
"It's the same as when you play for your club and you play against your mates from the national team," he added.
"Tomorrow I play for the national team, and I won't be mates with my club-mates. It's important to know who you play with and who you play against.
"I might talk to them during the game, but I'll be fighting for us to get through to the final."