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Cristaino Ronaldo praised .

Cristiano Ronaldo performances praised by Mario Balotelli

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Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has praised Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming that he has only disappointed journalists throughout Euro 2016. 

Ronaldo, 31, has only managed to score in one game during the tournament so far - he netted twice against Hungary during his country's final group stage fixture - and he has been the subject of criticism following a couple of below-par displays. 

Balotelli, though, doesn't see it that way and believes the Real Madrid superstar has worked hard for the team. 

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"He is not a disappointment. He is only disappointing to journalists," he said in his role as a PUMA ambassador, as per Goal.com.

"He played for the team, he has worked hard... I appreciated what he did."

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Ronaldo role 

Despite his supposed struggles, Ronaldo has played an integral role in helping Portugal secure a place in the semi-finals.

FBL-EURO-2016-MATCH45-POL-POR

And he will be determined to once again prove his class as his national side prepare to go head-to-head with Wales at the Stade des Lumieres this evening. 

Bale vs Ronaldo 

Ahead of the contest, the highly-anticipated battle between Ronaldo and his Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale has been openly discussed by pundits and fans alike. 

Tha aforementioned duo are clearly two of the best players in world football and there's no denying the fact that they will have a major role to play throughout proceedings. 

But there should also be no underestimating their teammates; Wales have played like a team over the course of the last couple of weeks and have truly stepped up time-and-time again. Their performance against Belgium in the last round was an admirable one, but they must produce something similar against Ronaldo and co. 

Wales v Portugal - Semi Final: UEFA Euro 2016

Portugal, on the other hand, may not have been as impressive, but you have to credit them for getting so far without really hitting their peak. Yet to win a game in 90 minutes, Fernando Santos' side have been lucky at times but have managed to just about get over the line. 

The Portuguese may start as slight favourites, but there's every chance that Wales can once again cause an upset and reach the final. Playing without the suspended Aaron Ramsey may well harm their prospects, but their team spirit - and the class of Bale - could see them make even more history. 

Who do you expect to secure a place in the final: Portugal or Wales? Have your say below! 

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Topics:
La Liga
Real Madrid
Football
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal National Football Team
Mario Balotelli
Euro 2016
Italy Football

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