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Spain out to neutralise Ronaldo again
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 by YAHOO Sport

Spain are going to pay special attention to Portugal's star player and captain Cristiano Ronaldo as they look to neutralise Wednesday's Euro 2012 semi-final opponents' chief threat.

"We will be taking special care of Cristiano Ronaldo," said coach Vicente del Bosque, noting that the Spanish had managed to do just that in their round of 16 success over their Iberian neighbours at the last World Cup.

On that occasion, Ronaldo was unable to turn things around as David Villa, missing from the Spanish squad through injury at Euro 2012, scored the only goal.

"It won't be an individual (marking) thing, there will be permanent help as there was two years ago," Del Bosque told Cope radio referring to the defence in general trying to keep Ronaldo quiet.

Ronaldo admitted on that occasion that the defeat had hit him hard.

"I feel wretched, completely desolate, unimaginably sad," he told Gestifute.com, the website of his agent Jorge Mendes the day after the match.

He had refused to speak to journalists after the match, saying only they should speak instead to coach Carlos Queiroz.

"I am a human being, I am suffering and I have the right to suffer alone," he said.

Del Bosque meanwhile saluted his defence for keeping him in their pocket and hopes for a repeat in Donetsk on Wednesday.

"When players such as Cristiano Ronaldo are kept quiet then the credit goes to our defenders," Del Bosque said after the World Cup meeting.

Yet Ronaldo has found his form here after a slow start.

The Portuguese also can look back to a November 10 friendly success over the Spanish in their last meeting - even if Ronaldo did not score on that occasion either.

    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