Portugal v Spain: The press view from Iberia

 

In the build-up to the Iberian clash
between Spain and Portugal in Donetsk the focus of the media differs between
the two countries with most of the Spanish discussion centred on Cristiano
Ronaldo and the Portuguese most concerned with Uefa’s choice of referee.

The Portugese Federation is reportedly “outraged and disgusted” (Diario de Noticias) with Uefa’s decision to name Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir as the man in charge of tonight’s game.

According to Portuguese newspapers A Bola and Record, this appointment reflects the close relationship between Angel Villar, President of the Spanish Football Federation and Uefa Referees Committee, and Senes Erzik, Turkish and vice-chairman of the same committee.

Sources from the FPF say, "there were better candidates from countries that are already at home, but Uefa have chosen the latter, who is not the level of others, in fact much less."

Some areas of the Portuguese press have even leveled accusations of conspiracy against Uefa President Michel Platini. The Frenchman has made no secret of the fact that he would prefer the final to feature Spain and Germany and this has riled the Portuguese.

The Diario de Noticias highlighted the fact that during the match between Croatia and Spain, the Croatians should have been awarded two penalties, one five minutes from time. If they had converted both of them Spain would have been out of the Euros. This slice of luck certainly falls in line with “Platini’s plan”.

The Spanish press has picked up on Portugal’s complaints and Marca today ran the ironic headline: "Spain’s biggest threat? Platini!"

Supporters of Los Rojas have, however, found their own reasons to complain.

Following their victory over France, Vincente del Bosque’s side have two days less break than the Portuguese before their semi-final clash.

El País says that the Spanish players are now "at their physical limit" and blames the "incredible lack of judgment" by Uefa that granted "the perk" to Portugal "to play the semi-finals with 48 hours more rest than their opposition ".

Much of the attention in Spain has turned towards Ronaldo as he is expected to be Portugal’s only chance of progression. Many believe that the match will be Spain against the masterclass that is CR7.

Diario de Noticias reports that in anticipation of this fact, “Spanish fans waited for the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in Donetsk to provoke and insult the Portuguese player.”

As with almost every other interview of a Spanish player, in an interview by AS Xabi Alonso’s first question is: “Do you have any plans prepared to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo?  How should you defend against Cristiano Ronaldo?”

Almost all those asked, much like the media, have been full of praise for the winger.

Vincente del Bosque acclaimed Ronaldo saying that Portugal “do not need to play a lot because of their counter-attack with Ronaldo. He is unique there is no one else like him.”

The Spanish Sports headlined with: "Cristiano is a concern, but we must keep our style."

Iker Casillas however, in what can only be seen as an attempt to disrupt the winger’s mental preparation, said that his Real Madrid team-mate was “not at his best.” (Diario de Noticias)

Marca identifies the key battle of the match as that between Ronaldo and Alvaro Arbeloa, saying that “the duel may be the key to the semi-final.”

Despite the trepidation in the media Del Bosque has not prepared any 'anti-Ronaldo plan'. "We play the same way, regardless of the rival. We know Cristiano well and can make small adjustments, nothing more". (Diario de Noticias)

Apart from Ronaldo’s importance, the one opinion that is shared by the Spanish and Portuguese press is that tonight’s game will be a clash of opposite footballing philosophies.

Marca identifies the difference with the headline: “A semi-final of opposite poles.”

Marking the difference between the Spaniards use of “touch, possession and patience against the fast-paced counter attacking style,” favoured by the Portuguese. (Marca)

No one knows which style will come out on top but what is certain in both countries is that Cristiano Ronaldo will have to perform at the peak of his ability if Portugal are to triumph.

Life and Style
Social media users in Mexico who commented on cartel violence have been killed in the past
techTweets not showing up or loading this morning, users say
Sport
premier leagueLive: All the latest news and scores from today's matches
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker