Portugal can go a long way, says Nani

Winger Nani believes Portugal do have the required qualities to make a major impact in the knockout stages of Euro 2016.

Despite Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo so far failing to produce a string of consistent displays, Portugal have recovered from a slow start to earn a place in the quarter-finals against Poland in Marseille tomorrow.

The manner of the narrow 1-0 win over Croatia in Lens — secured by a goal from Ricardo Quaresma late in extra-time — may have lacked moments of high quality, but Fenerbahce forward Nani feels there is enough talent within Fernando Santos’ group to pull off the required result against the Poles.

“The group is excellent, young, all demonstrating team spirit, all pulling in the same direction and this has been one of the factors that shows we are stronger. We have all the conditions to go as far as possible,” Nani said.

“I think we have played good games, putting on a spectacle and against Hungary (in the group stage) we scored a lot of goals — but, of course, it will not be possible to do this in all matches.”

Nani expects a stern test against Poland, who came through a penalty shoot-out against Switzerland to take their place in the quarter-finals of the European Championships for the first time.

Poland will have midfielder Bartosz Kapustka available again following suspension, while Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski, yet to score at Euro 2016, should be fit after carrying a minor thigh problem.

Former Manchester United forward Nani added: “We know that Poland is a very strong team, with experienced players, like Lewandowski, but we have to focus on the team, not (just think) about one player because any player in this game can make a difference.

“If we can control all of the pieces on the pitch, I think we will have more chance than if we (try to) control just one player.

“We have to be at our best, to go in with the confidence to try and win the game.”


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