Ronaldo ready for Portuguese responsibility

PORTUGAL captain Cristiano Ronaldo insists he is unconcerned about carrying the hopes of a nation as he bids to tonight inspire his side to the Euro 2012 final with victory over reigning European and world champions Spain.

“I don’t feel pressure playing against Spain,” said Ronaldo. “These games are part of my life. I have spent 10 years playing these type of games for club and country and I have to be accustomed to it.

“I feel responsibility, yes. But pressure? No. It’s beautiful for Portugal to be able to reach another final.”

Ronaldo was last season instrumental in Real overcoming bitter rivals Barcelona in La Liga and tonight’s fixture represents a revisit to that particular rivalry, with Barca’s Spanish defender Gerard Pique warning his compatriots of Ronaldo’s threat.

“We know we can’t give him a moment to think or even breathe,” said Pique. “Not even an inch.”