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Spain confident of stopping Ronaldo

25 June 2012 22:03

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso believes there is no need to make a contingency plan to deal with Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Spain have attracted criticism from some quarters for their apparent below-par displays at Euro 2012 so far, but have conceded just once and are the second-highest scorers left in the competition with eight goals.

Ronaldo had a lacklustre start to the competition, but has come to the fore in his country's last two games, scoring all three goals and going close to adding more on numerous occasions.

Alonso, though, believes there is no need for the Spanish camp to become obsessed about his Real Madrid team-mate, and feels the side must defend as a unit and play as they do normally to progress to Sunday's final.

"Do you plan anti-Ronaldo? We have nothing planned, we always play with the same idea independently of the rival," Alonso told Goal.com.

"We can analyse and make small adjustments. The best way to stop players is by being together and leaving no spaces."

Team-mates Sergio Busquets and Xavi agreed, and believe they are capable of reducing Ronaldo's impact when they meet Portugal in the Euro 2012 semi-finals.

While the Barcelona pair are aware of the forward's attacking prowess, they are confident they have the ability and personnel to marginalise him.

"It's not Barcelona versus Madrid, it's Spain versus Portugal," Busquets said. "And we all know what a great player Cristiano is.

"He will mostly be in the zone defended by Alvaro (Arbeloa) and Alvaro knows him better than anyone (they are Madrid team-mates). But to stop a player of this kind you need the whole team to work."

Xavi believes he and his defensive partners can limit the space the former World Player of the Year has to operate in.

"We will have to be very attentive," Xavi said.

"We will try to cover as well, (to) make Cristiano uncomfortable and not allow him to turn."

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