Euro 2016: 5 players to look out for in the semi-finals
With only hours to spare before the UEFA Euro 2016 semi-finals, we look at the five players who can make a difference.
UEFA Euro 2016 is reaching its twilight as the semi-finals kick-off today with Wales taking on Portugal at Lyon followed by a clash of the favorites between France and Germany at Marseille tomorrow. The Euros has so far seen some nail-biting and dramatic football along with some upsets.
The quarter-finals saw some incredible performances with Portugal and Germany edging out Poland and Italy respectively via penalties. While Wales’ fairytale run continued with a 3-1 win over Belgium, Iceland fell to a 5-2 defeat against France. The semi-final matchups are bound to be exciting as all four teams have played some dazzling football throughout the tournament. With only hours to spare before Wales and Portugal lock horns at Lyon, let’s take a look at five players to look out for in the semi-finals.
#1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
The Portugal captain has so far had a subdued tournament as apart from his two goals and an assist against Hungary, he has been far from putting up a performance that is expected from a player of his stature. He missed a couple of gilt-edged opportunities throughout the tournament including a penalty against Austria.
However, one shouldn’t write off the Real Madrid forward as he has the ability to single-handedly change the course of the game and did show a sparkle of this ability in Portugal’s group game against Hungary. With Wales up next, Ronaldo will be up against his Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale who has been one of the tournament’s best players. With the Welsh side consisting of a disciplined backline marshalled by their skipper Ashley Williams, Portugal will require Ronaldo’s killer instinct if they are to reach their second Euro final.