Portugal vs Wales in tonight’s Euro 2016 semi-final is being dubbed Cristiano Ronaldo vs Gareth Bale.
While that’s slightly unfair on the other members of the respective squads, there’s no denying that Ronaldo and Bale are two of the best players in the world and they could have a massive say in the clash.
The two Real Madrid stars will be seeking to win their second major trophy of their season after they both helped Madrid win the Champions League final. Bale and Ronaldo scored in the penalty shootout against Atletico Madrid at the San Siro to give Los Blancos an unprecedented eleventh European Cup.
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And it certainly wouldn’t be too surprising if the semi-final goes all the way to penalties. Portugal have drawn all of their five matches in this tournament after 90 minutes and progressed past Poland in the previous round thanks to a shoot-out.
If Wales and Portugal does go down to the lottery of a shootout, Carlo Ancelotti thinks he knows how both Bale and Ronaldo will approach it.
"If it goes to penalties then I can see both Cristiano and Gareth wanting to take the first one for their teams,” the former Real Madrid boss wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph.
"One thing is for sure: they will not be hiding under the bench when their manager is looking for volunteers.”
Ancelotti obviously knows the two players well having managed them at the Spanish giants for two seasons.
Ronaldo to lead
Often in the past - including this season’s Champions League final - Ronaldo has opted to take the fifth penalty for his team in the hope he can secure glory. However, his tactic changed against Poland with him taking the first spot-kick to get his side off to the perfect start.
"I saw the penalty shootouts between Portugal and Poland and then Germany and Italy. You could see how Cristiano took the lead by scoring the first penalty. Trust me, as a manager when it comes to those shoot-outs it can be difficult at times.”
With Bale and Ronaldo being their country’s talisman, they will be desperate to lead their country to the final in 90 minutes. However, if penalties are needed to separate them, expect the two superstars to be volunteering to take their teams' first kick.
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