Spain defender Alvaro Arbeloa has warned his team-mates Cristiano Ronaldo is not the only threat Portugal pose to their hopes of progressing to the Euro 2012 final.
Ronaldo has carried his stunning form with Real Madrid last season into the tournament and heads into tomorrow’s semi-final against Spain as the competition’s joint leading scorer with three goals.
The world’s most expensive player undoubtedly poses a major risk to Spain’s hopes of defending their European title but Arbeloa believes his side would be making a big mistake if they focused all their attention on the former Manchester United star.
‘We all know that Ronaldo is an excellent player but Portugal is not only Cristiano. They have players of great quality and we have to stop all of them, not only Cristiano,’ he said.
‘We know how good he is, and he is showing that at the Euros. We hope that we have a good game and Cristiano not so much.’
The right-back admits he is looking forward to the challenge of trying to stifle his club-mate, who scored an amazing 60 goals for the Spanish giants in all competitions last season.
Arbeloa said: ‘It’s always physically and mentally demanding to face a player who is one of the best and playing at a spectacular level.
‘I like to measure myself against the best.’
Ronaldo is not the only Madrid player Spain are set to come up against with defenders Pepe and Fabio Coentrao also key members of the Portugal side.
Those three, along with Spanish quintet Arbeloa, Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos and Raul Albiol, helped Madrid win their first La Liga title since 2008 last season.
However, Arbeloa warned his Portuguese colleagues not to expect any favours.
‘Tomorrow I will have no club-mates, they will be enemies,’ he added. ‘I will fight to help Spain into the final.’