Portugal vs Wales – Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo Meet in Euro 2016 Semi-Finals

Posted on by Sreya

Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

It will be a monumental occasion for Real Madrid fans when Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo start on the opposite sides when Portugal faces Wales at Parc Olympique Lyonnais on 6th July, Wednesday in the first semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 2016.

Portugal have an incredible opportunity to make it to the finals of the European Championship for the first time since their heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Greece in 2004. Wales, on the other hand, will be playing the semi-finals of a major international competition for the first time, being the first debutante to reach the last four since Sweden in 1992.

Both nations have had fairly different routes to the last four, with Portugal struggling to win matches in the designated normal time while Wales comfortably defeated most of the teams they played against until now.

The two countries have never faced each other in a competitive encounter till date, according to Head-2-Head statistics, with Portugal winning two of the three international friendlies against Wales.

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Portugal have stuttered through their Euro 2016 campaign, having failed to establish their dominance in any of the matches. In fact, their last six Euro finals matches have ended in draws after 90 minutes; five during this competition, plus a goalless stalemate with Spain before a shoot-out defeat, in the UEFA Euro 2012 semi-finals.

Wales, on the contrary have been exceptional, in spite of their unfortunate loss to England in the group stages. Chris Coleman’s side have showcased an excellent brand of football, demonstrating their technical quality when in possession and dropping deep without the ball.

Wales will be without the suspended Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Tottenham fullback Ben Davies while William Carvalho misses out for Portugal.

The ability to score goals will be the crucial factor in the semi-finals, with the footballing world looking at Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to lead their respective sides to the finale. In this tournament, Portugal have scored six goals among thirty shots on target, with 95 total shots registered. Wales have scored ten goals from twenty-nine shots on target, with fifty nine shots in total.

“Everyone wants to achieve something special for each other. We are a team and we showed it against Belgium. The fact it is Gareth Bale versus [Real Madrid team-mate] Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday is going to be mentioned. But Gareth will tell you himself that it is not about that.”

Aaron Ramsey, Wales.

While Cristiano Ronaldo could become the first man to appear in three Euro semi-finals and (having scored in 2004 against the Netherlands) only the third to score in more than one, his Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale is in a better form coming into this encounter, as the Welshman has scored three and assisted one of his country’s ten goals this summer at a staggering contribution rate of 40%.

The tactical strategy employed by the managers of the two countries could very well decide the fate of this match, but the individual brilliance of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will be the focus of the football fans across the globe.

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