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.
"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.
- Asian Games 2023: Equalling best-ever tally in rowing, India sets example for future success in Hangzhou
- Asian Games 2023, September 25 LIVE updates: Indian boxer Deepak wins first round; India wins maiden cricket gold; Indian team clinches gold with World Record score in 10m air rifle
- Juve’s Allegri sticks with Szczesny despite costly mistakes
- Indian sports news wrap, September 25
- Aishwary wins Asian Games 2023 bronze in men’s 10m air rifle, pips Rudrankksh in shoot-off