The European champions go up against the South American champions in the semi-final
of the Confederations Cup on Wednesday in Kazan. The match will determine which side
will progress to the final of the tournament to face either Germany or Mexico who play
The match is being dubbed as the battle between two of world’s finest attackers Cristiano
Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez. While the former is in fine goal scoring run with 16 goals
in the last 10 games for his club and country, the latter has just returned from the injury
and is struggling to find the net.
Chile have won only one of their last five matches compared to Portugal’s four who
haven’t conceded in the last two matches. La Roja only defeated Cameroon in the group
stage and was held by both Germany and Australia to a draw. Seleccao on the other hand,
defeated both New Zealand and Russia while drew against Mexico in a four-goal fest.
Both, Portugal and Chile have been criticized for their style of play, being defensive
despite having a plethora of attacking options. To be fair to both the teams and their
managers, the playing style has enabled them to win titles.
Defender Pepe sits out the game after picking up his second yellow card of the
tournament in the big win over the Kiwis while left-back Raphael Guerreiro is struggling
with a bruised foot from the win over Russia while Chile has their whole squad available
for the match.
Chile midfielder Marcelo Diaz, who has often faced Ronaldo with his club Celta Vigo in
La Liga, laid down the importance of stopping Ronaldo from scoring if Chile has to reach
the final. “We all know he’s an amazing player, he’s very dangerous and can decide a
game alone,” he said.
He has had an amazing season in Spain, he’s playing here with the same strength, which
is why Portugal are in the semi-final.
"The main thing is trying to stop him getting the ball and scoring."
Portugal are favorites to face their world champions Germany in the final of the tournament.