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EM 2024 live: Bellingham is allowed to play against Switzerland on Friday after gesture and preparation for the quarter-finals

“Tonight everything will change about Ronaldo”published at 15:41

Portugal – France (20:00 CEST)

Alex Bysouth
BBC Sport in Berlin

Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani celebrateImage source, Getty Images

Former Portugal winger Nani says he is not too impressed with his national team's performance so far at Euro 2024, but hopes tonight's quarter-final against France will inject new momentum into the tournament.

“I'm glad we're here. We always want to be among the top teams in the tournament. We want to entertain, we want to be the favorites, but at the moment we don't have that feeling,” he said.

“Maybe tonight we have a chance to change that mentality. It will be a great game, but difficult for both teams. They will lose a lot of energy, a lot of talent and strength will have to be brought onto the field and both teams have not played their best so far.”

Nani knows Cristiano Ronaldo well, having played with him both at Manchester United and for his national team and being part of the same team that won Euro 2016. He says the 39-year-old will use today's game to put an end to any talk about whether he deserves a place in the team.

“He's a special player, a player who can provoke a lot of emotions,” said Nani. “That's why it's normal when things aren't going well for him – everyone expects him to score goals, that's his job, he's a striker, so that can depress him a little.”

“But I think he's more confident for the next games and can put all that energy into practice tonight.”

Nani also says Ronaldo will not dwell long on his missed penalty against Slovenia in the last round.

“I think he's strong enough with all his experience,” he added. “I wouldn't say it didn't knock him down a little bit – yes, sure, he spent two days thinking about it – but tonight he's already overcome it, the situation is over, so he's already looking forward to the game.”

“We footballers are like that, he's just waiting for an opportunity to score a goal or win the game and change the sensations, feelings and thoughts. When you lose a penalty, such an important penalty in this game, it hurts a little but it won't last forever because we still have another game to go. I think tonight everyone's thoughts about Ronaldo will change.”