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Pereira - Final within reach
Posted Monday, June 25, 2012 by Sky Sport

Portugal defender in confident mood ahead of Spain clash

Pereira - Final within reach
Joao Pereira: Believes Portugal are capable of toppling Spain

Joao Pereira claims Portugal have no reason to feel inferior to Spain ahead of their Euro 2012 semi-final, with both sides capable of going all the way.

Two sides loaded with potential match-winners will go head-to-head on Wednesday in a contest which promises to provide plenty of attacking endeavour.

Spain, as the reigning European champions, are considered to be the side to beat, but Portugal have offered enough to suggest that they cannot be written off.

Sporting Lisbon defender Pereira refuses to accept that they are underdogs, with anything possible once you reach the latter stages of a major tournament and the pressure starts to intensify.

"Each side has a 50 per cent chance (of qualifying for the final)," he said.

"We must have a healthy respect for Spain, but we are not going to respect them too much, because we too have great players, of great value to us."

Portugal suffered a 1-0 defeat by Germany in their opening game of Euro 2012, but have established momentum since then and are now going in search of a fourth successive victory.


"Even if we started badly, we have improved a lot," added Pereira.

"I hope we will be even more confident against Spain. It will be important not to commit errors, because they will pounce on those.

"The best thing would be to succeed in pressing them and us retaining possession.

"Obviously that could prove difficult because Spain love playing the passing game, and if they play with six midfielders like they have done, it will be tough to score."

While in optimistic mood heading into the Spain encounter, Pereira insists he has not allowed himself to dream of lifting the trophy.

"It is for certain that when one reaches a semi-final you think of the final as it is within reach," he said.

"But we know the semi-final will not be an easy game. It is imperative not to think of the final while playing the semi-final. Normally that means things don't go well."

    Rank Team W/D/L Pts

    Cities & Stadiums

    The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments

    Year Winners Runner-up Third place
    2008SpainGermanyRussia / Turkey
    2004GreecePortugalNetherlands / Czech Republic
    2000FranceItalyNetherlands / Portugal
    1996GermanyCzech RepublicFrance / England
    1992DenmarkGermanyNetherlands / Sweden
    1988NetherlandsSoviet UnionItaly / West Germany
    1984FranceSpainDenmark / Portugal
    1980West GermanyBelgiumCzechoslovakia
    1976CzechoslovakiaWest GermanyNetherlands
    1972West GermanySoviet UnionBelgium
    1964SpainSoviet UnionHungary
    1960Soviet UnionYugoslaviaCzechoslovakia