Nani believes that Portugal have all that it takes to win their next Euro 2012 match and secure progression to a dream final in Kiev on July 1.
A spirit Portuguese side, powered by the defense of Real Madrid defender Pepe and the attacking prowess of players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, defeated Group A winners Czech Republic 1-0 in the quarterfinals last night.
Ronaldo, a former club teammate of Nani at Manchester United, stole the headlines with a thumping header past Chelsea’s Petr Cech for the match’s only goal even though Portugal out-shot their opponents 20-2.
Even the two Czech shots were off-target and in the end, Nani knows that his teammates advanced in style.
However, they now await an even tougher challenge in the form of either France or defending champions Spain next week – a feat that Nani confidently looks forward to.
“We had to struggle a bit, as we are in a phase of the tournament where the matches are all very difficult, where our opponents are strong. The will to win shone through, and our quality, and we were already superior before we scored,” Nani told UEFA.com.
The 25-year old added: “It ended with a good result but in the beginning we struggled a bit. We have to take it step by step, as we have done up until now. Now we need to think about the match in the semi-finals. And if we win that…”
While Portugal are unlikely to face another team who will play as much counter-attacking football as Czech Republic did, Nani’s compatrior Joao Moutinho feels that his teammates have mastered the art of reading quick counters.
Every time the Czechs attempted to engineer a counter-attack, they were thwarted back into their own half and Moutinho credits a highly organized defensive strategy for such a shut-down performance in the back.
“They tried to play on the counterattack, on our errors, but we managed to control the match in our own way in order to create opportunities,” FC Porto player remarked.