Uruguay, Coates not just focusing on Ronaldo

Uruguay cannot just focus on Cristiano Ronaldo as it prepares to face Portugal, defender Sebastian Coates said.

Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo   -  Getty Images

Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates warned his team not to focus solely on Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of its World Cup last-16 clash with Portugal. Ronaldo has already scored four goals at Russia 2018, helping Fernando Santos' men progress from Group B.

The Euro 2016 champion faces a huge test against Uruguay in Sochi Saturday, with the South American holding a perfect record at this year's tournament.

But, while Ronaldo has scored four of his team's five goals at the showpiece event, Coates said that Uruguay could not afford to focus only on the star forward.

FULL COVERAGE: FIFA WORLD CUP

"We will defend him with the same respect that we defend others. He is a worldwide star, but you don't prepare for a match thinking about one player, but thinking about the team as a whole," he told a news conference.

Ronaldo lifted Portugal to a 3-3 draw against Spain in its opening game, capping a hat-trick with a sensational free-kick.Uruguay midfielder Matias Vecino said that his team would need to be careful not to give Ronaldo too many free-kick chances.

"When there is a [free-kick] specialist in the other team, you have to try to avoid fouls near the area. Sometimes, it is inevitable because when a midfielder or striker goes towards the goal to shoot, you have to cut the play before," he said.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos