OPALENICA, Poland – Portugal midfielder Custodio said Monday he is keeping his fingers crossed Cristiano Ronaldo would come off better in his Euro 2012 semi-final duel with Real Madrid teammate and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
The two teams face off in Donetsk on Wednesday and Custodio, who hopes to play a part from the bench, said: “I hope Ronaldo comes off best in this duel – that’s what I’m banking on.”
The Spanish won their round of 16 meeting at the World Cup 1-0 with a David Villa goal but Custodio told a news conference at the squad base at Opalenica in Poland that this time the Seleccao have moved up a notch.
Asked if the match could be seen at least on one level as Portugal’s Real Madrid contingent – defender Pepe also plays for the club – against Spain’s own Real stars, Custodio said: “We don’t see things like that. For us it is Portugal aganist Spain. That’s what we have prepared for.”
Ronaldo has been in effervescent form with three goals in his last two games and Custodio said he could make a difference against anyone – even the Spanish.
“Ronaldo is one of the most complete players I know, both physically and technically and mentally. He is always motivated and will wear the shirt with great pride.”
As to the team’s chances of winning Custodio said: “We know they are a great team but we will look to beat them playing to our strengths. We shall fight to the end for a place in the final. Will this be Portugal’s year? I hope so.”