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Santos in typically gruff mood ahead of Portugal semi

Football Soccer - Portugal News Conference - Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon , France - 5/7/16 Portugal head coach Fernando Santos during the press conference Reuters / Pool Pic / UEFA Livepic
Football Soccer - Portugal News Conference - Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon , France - 5/7/16Portugal head coach Fernando Santos during the press conferenceReuters / Pool Pic / UEFALivepic

By Brian Homewood

LYON, France (Reuters) - Portugal coach Fernando Santos was in typically gruff mood ahead of their Euro 2016 semi-final, saying he did not want to think about anything other than Wednesday's game against Wales.

Almost every question at his pre-match news conference was dismissed with a variation on the theme that "we're concentrating on the game tomorrow".

Asked what he thought about forward Nani's move to Spanish club Valencia, announced earlier on Tuesday, Santos frowned and explained it was not a subject he wanted to address.

"Nani is a Portugal player, he is just focused on our team and the game tomorrow. We don't want to talk Valencia here," said Santos.

A question about whether the former Greece coach considered the semi-final with Wales to be the most crucial game of his career was also shrugged off.

"I don't know, the most important match must have been the first one...as it got my career off the ground," said Santos.

"Every day in your life is an important day. I'd say it is important to wake up in the morning because it shows you are alive."

Criticism of Portugal's Euro performances were dismissed as "music to my ears", as were suggestions his side should be considered favourites against the Welsh.

"We are playing for a place in the European Championship final," he said. "We believe we are good enough to do it.

"Wales have had a fantastic championship. They came through one of the most even groups with Russia, Slovakia and England.

"They beat one of the favourites, Belgium (in the last eight), and beat them very well," added Santos.

"We believe we are good enough to do it, with the same humility, determination and the talent that the players have shown until now.

"I want to be in the final, that's the target," said Santos.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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