Portugal coach Fernando Santos is confident Cristiano Ronaldo will not be weighed down by the burden of his country’s Euro 2016 hopes as they prepare to face Poland in the quarter-finals.
The 31-year-old has endured a mixed tournament so far in France, but is unlikely to have a better chance of finally winning a major international tournament.
Ronaldo, who was part of the Portugal side that lost 1-0 to Greece in the final of Euro 2004, has failed to hit top form in front of goal, but netted twice against Hungary to save Portugal from a humiliating group stage exit.
He became the first player ever to score in four different European Championship finals and also redeemed himself having missed a late penalty in the stalemate with Austria in the previous group match.
"Everybody is talking about him and there is a reason for that, he is an amazing player," Santos said.
"People only talk a lot about the great players. There are hundreds of players that we don’t talk about every day.
"It is a natural thing some are mentioned more than others because they are amazing players. Ronaldo knows how to deal with that."
Portugal have reached the last eight without winning a game in 90 minutes. They were the only side to get through the group stage with three draws and defeated Croatia 1-0 in the last 16 in extra-time with Ricardo Quaresma scoring the winner.
Ronaldo’s only shot on goal against Croatia led to the goal as Danijel Subasic parried his effort into the path of Quaresma.
In his previous three games, Ronaldo had 29 shots on goal, but Portugal put on a defensive masterclass to shut out Croatia and Santos admitted he has to find a balance between defense and feeding his star man.
"We want to strike a balance of course. We would rather [Ronaldo] shot on goal 15 times and scored 10 goals [a game], but our opponents won’t let us.
"In all our matches we try and strike a balance and every player plays his role. That is what we have to do tomorrow."