Ronaldo hails mental strength
Portuguese superstar not feeling pressure
Last Updated: June 26, 2012 9:40pm
Cristiano Ronaldo: Feeling the responsibility but no pressure ahead of Euro 2012 semi-final
Cristiano Ronaldo believes Portugal's mental toughness can give them the edge for their Euro 2012 semi-final against Spain on Wednesday.
The Real Madrid forward has proved pivotal in his nation's route to the last four, with a brace against Holland and the quarter-final winner versus the Czech Republic.
Ronaldo is convinced coach Paulo Bento's men now have the strength to go all the way and is unfazed by the prospect of facing the world and European champions.
He told UEFA's official website: "We lost our first match and then won all the others. I think that shows the great mental capacity of this team, and it didn't surprise me because I knew the goals would come.
"[Bento] is doing a great job, not only now but also during qualification. I think he's done a phenomenal job.
"From the moment he took on the national team he has believed in the players and is getting results in the final stage.
"I am not feeling the pressure of playing Spain or any other team because it is part of my life. I will always have responsibility but pressure? Not much."
Bento will be forced to make changes to his team as they bid to upset the odds against a Spanish side that hasn't conceded a goal in their last eight major tournament knockout games.
The Portugal coach must decide which striker will replace the injured Helder Postiga, with Hugo Almeida favoured to get the nod.
Almeida said: "I've worked hard to be called into the starting line-up and I'll take this opportunity.
"I was a little sad not to be included in the starting line-up but when the opportunity comes you have to be at your very best."