Ronaldo, Portugal look to knock Morocco out

That promises a daunting task in a match both teams want to win in a wide-open Group B where Morocco are on zero points after losing their first game 1-0 to Iran and Portugal want to follow up on their good showing against Spain with full three points. We are very happy with him and his performance - and that of all other players.

Morocco and Portugal played each other at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and the Moroccans won 3-1 to enter the round of 16 while Portugal finished last. "We are at a World Cup and we have to show Morocco respect because they are an excellent team".

Morocco manager Herve Renard said of the in-form Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick against Spain, to L'Equipe: "Those who try to mount a plan against him, he always manages to find something to make the difference".

The 33-year-old became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the tournament in his side's opening 3-3 draw with Spain, drawing level with Ferenc Puskas as Europe's most prolific worldwide goalscorer on 84 in the process.

- Portugal have lost only one of their last 10 World Cup group games (0-4 v Germany in 2014), winning five and drawing the other four. We mustn't forget that we're facing the champions of Europe.

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Aside from rubbing salt in the wounds of their Iberian rivals following the sacking of Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, Ronaldo's late equaliser puts Portugal in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stage if they beat Morocco, in just the second meeting between the two nations. His presence is naturally very important for the team but this is not all about individuals.

The Portugal centre-back Pepe was also toeing the party line, saying that they had to prepare for this game as they had done the encounter against Spain. "Portugal have the capacity to do better than we played against Spain and I hope we can correct our mistakes". "He makes us dream, he gives us confidence", explained Pepe. This is a World Cup, and these are all national teams. "The first game was a good sign for us".

Morocco lost their opener to Iran due to a stoppage-time own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz.

"We have to do our utmost to make him less exceptional". "We will step onto the pitch with this spirit".

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