Portugal-Uruguay more than Ronaldo v Suarez - Alves
Bruno Alves (Getty)
Kratovo - Portugal defender Bruno Alves said on Saturday's
Soccer World Cup last-16 clash with Uruguay will be more than simply a battle
between Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.
The European champions will face Uruguay in Sochi for a
place in the quarter-finals after finishing as runners-up behind Spain in Group
Uruguay won all three of their group matches, beating hosts
Russia 3-0 in their last outing, and are the only team yet to concede a goal at
Real Madrid forward Ronaldo has scored four of Portugal's
five goals so far, while Barcelona star Suarez netted against Saudi Arabia and
"I don't think it will be a duel between Suarez and
Ronaldo," Alves said on Thursday. "It's a match between the two
teams, Portugal and Uruguay, and we'll do everything we can to win."
Portugal survived a late scare against Iran on Monday, as
Ronaldo missed a penalty and was fortunate to escape a red card for an elbow.
"At this stage we still believe we have room for
improvement," Alves said. "I think we will win, but you can't forget
you can only win if you play well and I think we'll play well."
The 36-year-old Alves is at his third World Cup, although
the Rangers centre-back has yet to make an appearance in Russia.
"I feel that we're always highly motivated. I think all
of us have come here to play and when our moment comes we will be ready for it
to help Portugal win," he said.
"I think this Portugal team is ready for everything.
We've shown we have the chance to win and if we keep it up this way I think
we'll be successful. There are difficult games in store for us though."
Portugal have not lost a competitive match with Ronaldo in
the side since the 2014 World Cup, although they were beaten on penalties by
Chile at last year's Confederations Cup.
Alves sounded a note of caution following the departure of
defending champions Germany.
"Everybody can see that in this World Cup there are no
easy games," Alves said. "Germany's fate made it clear what can
happen to any strong team."
Uruguay are hopeful Jose Maria Gimenez will return from
injury to resume his centre-back partnership with Atletico Madrid team-mate