11 October 2014 04:17
France coach Didier Deschamps just hopes his team can limit Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence when they face Portugal on Saturday.
The in-form Real Madrid superstar is greatly relied upon by his nation and will be so again in the friendly at the Stade de France.
Deschamps accepts it is impossible to stop Ronaldo, but would like to see his side simply contain the 29-year-old.
“He is a player that is so important that, obviously, neutralising him would be ideal,” Deschamps told a news conference.
“But at least limiting his influence on his team is necessary. Every team who plays against Portugal will always take into consideration that you have to control him when he gets the ball, to be safer.
“Now, it’s not just Cristiano Ronaldo. He can play at different positions but obviously we need to be extra careful with him.”
Ronaldo comes up against two of his club team-mates in Paris, with Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema part of the France squad.
Deschamps said the duo had provided “little pieces of information” that could be crucial.
“We see what Cristiano can do during his games with Real Madrid, it’s always on television, in La Liga or the Champions League,” he said.
“But players talk about little things, like Raphael is a defender at Real, so he must play against him during their training sessions, he knows his little habits.
“Karim as well, will know how he likes to move, it happens a lot. Even though nowadays, every French defender knows Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s theses little pieces of information that can be useful.”