We must make Ronaldo less exceptional, says Morocco boss Renard

Herve Renard admits it could be impossible for Morocco to stop Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is determined to try.

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo   -  Getty Images

Morocco boss Herve Renard has promised his side will do their best to make Cristiano Ronaldo "less exceptional" when they face Portugal in the World Cup on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the tournament in his side's opening 3-3 draw with Spain, drawing level with Ferenc Puskas as Europe's most prolific international goalscorer on 84 in the process.

Renard's side head into Wednesday's match in Moscow in need of a positive result, having been beaten 1-0 by Iran in their opening Group B match, but Renard accepts stopping Ronaldo could prove an impossible task.

"All I can say is that he's an exceptional player. That word may not even be enough," he told a news conference.

"We must do everything to make it a less exceptional game for him."

Renard also dismissed the idea of man-marking Ronaldo as a potentially futile tactic, especially since Portugal won the Euro 2016 final over France after their talisman had gone off injured.

He added: "If we put three [players] on Ronaldo, I don't know how we would mark the others. They have so much attacking quality. We mustn't forget that we're facing the champions of Europe.

"If I have a good memory, he was injured in the final against France and his team-mates managed to make the difference anyway.

"Of course, he is the essential element... but we need to sleep well tonight, eh!

"If it only happens once in your life that you play Cristiano Ronaldo, you have to be the best you can be."

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