Cristiano Ronaldo says he is unhappy playing a lone hand up front – but believes Portugal will beat Spain.
The Iberian neighbours meet in the last 16 in South Africa in one of the ties of the second round. And Portugal could be boosted by the fact Spain’s key midfielder, Xabi Alonso, is a doubt for the game with an ankle injury.
But to win the tie they will have to find goals from somewhere after playing out to 0-0 draws in the group stages.
On Friday in the stalemate with Brazil, Ronaldo featured as a single striker at the behest of manager Carlos Queiroz, but later told him he was not happy.
“The boss knows it is not my position,” said Ronaldo. “It is true that I play less when in the lone position up front but the important thing is that we have qualified. I am confident, I think I can give more. We sorted that (qualification from Group G) and now we dream. We will try to win against whoever comes. Now we dream.”
Meanwhile Alonso picked up a knock in Spain’s 2-1 win against Chile and has a sprained ankle, which will require rest over the next few days.
His potential absence will be a blow to coach Vincente Del Bosque, who recognises the danger that Portugal pose.
“I am concerned about Portugal,” said Del Bosque. “We saw on Friday how they controlled the Brazilians. They were not prevented from playing their football and they counter-attacked. The fact that we got Portugal in the next round instead of Brazil is not a relief.”