Real Madrid teammates Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will go head-to-head in the first of Euro 2016’s epic semi-final clashes on Wednesday as Wales face Portugal.
Teammates at Los Blancos, the semi-final showdown has set up a mouthwatering clash between the two superstars, who very rarely lineup on opposites sides of the pitch.
With the relationship between the stars rumoured to be an uneasy one at club level, the fixture may yet reveal the true extent of the stars’ rivalry.
‘It’s not about two players, it is about two nations in a semi-final, 11 men against 11 men,’ said Bale attempting to play down a rivalry between the Los Blancos pair.
‘Everybody knows that really.’
The pair, the respective talismans for their national teams, could go a long way to deciding the matchup as each is capable of changing a game with just a single moment of inspiration.
Bale has been in impressive form in the tournament thus far having notched up three goals, leaving him chasing the coattails of Golden Boot leader Antoine Griezmann. The Welshman has been particularly devastating with his direct free kicks, while his dynamic runs from deep have caused defences all sorts of problems.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, has yet to consistently produce his best form in the competition. Though looking less dynamic and mobile than in the past, the Portuguese has nevertheless managed two goals thus far; a decisive header and an audacious backheel. Ronaldo’s aerial prowess and decisive finishing will remain a serious concern for the Welsh defence.
Ronaldo and Bale’s duel for supremacy will take place at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon.
Kick-off is at 21:00.