After guiding an FC Porto side featuring a number of Portugal's current squad to UEFA Europa League glory in 2011, André Villas-Boas has a better idea than most of how the Selecção will fare against Spain. The former Chelsea FC manager took time out to answer your tweets in our latest #Ask session and gave a unique insight into Portugal's semi-final and the importance of Cristiano Ronaldo.
@ErryKop: How do you see Cristiano Ronaldo's influence on the Portugal team?
André Villas-Boas: Ronaldo is having a tremendous impact on the team. They have always created chances and now he is taking them. You have to praise the quality of the Portuguese midfield, not only for the way they create for the attackers but the way they have balanced the team throughout the tournament and that's why they are where they are.
@chevmaestro: Will Portugal play with Cristiano Ronaldo on the counterattack and will that be effective against Spain?
Villas-Boas: Against Spain it's difficult to take the ball away from them but Portugal are very organised when they press. They can try and limit Spain from the start but I'm not sure what approach they will take. Paulo Bento can take many different options but so far he has chosen to attack teams and press them high up the pitch. If he does that against Spain it might mean that Portugal enjoy a bit more possession but trying to take possession away from a team that is so good on the ball is very difficult. When Portugal get the ball they will counterattack with Nani and Ronaldo and something can happen from there.
@AlexFleg: Who do you think is the best player at the moment?
Villas-Boas: A lot of players are outstanding. [Andrea] Pirlo is having a tremendous tournament. Normally the praise comes for the teams and players that succeed. Ronaldo is having the impact that he should have as one of the best players in the world. If they get past Spain he could go on to be the player of the tournament.
@AxelTorres: Do you think João Moutinho is better playing as a No10 or as an attacking midfielder?
Villas-Boas: He was always very attacking in his position. Now at Portugal he plays more in a holding role, creating more and organising more. With Portugal's 4-3-3 formation he has a bit more freedom but he is a responsible player with unlimited capabilities. I see him more as a No8 rather than a No10 but he is so versatile that you can play him in any position in midfield.
@Al_EXA: What is the one piece of advice that has been passed down to you that you wish to pass down to others?
Villas-Boas: You have to remain ambitious and have dreams. I think persistence and resilience are very important. To be persistent and to have courage is important to get through difficult times and to achieve what you want to achieve.
@GalinYordanov: Would you like to be coach of a national team?
Villas-Boas: I get more excitement out of club activity and day-to-day coaching. It is not part of my ambitions but it is something that one day can happen and with the right set-up and project you can go on to do something special. At the moment it is not part of my future career plans.
@RubenRicarte: Have you followed Porto this year? Do you think they will ever have a season as good as when you were in charge?
Villas-Boas: Our season was special for sure but Porto have had many great seasons. The club won the European Cup in 1987 and 2004 so you have to remember that. Our season was good and went into the history books but it doesn't match Porto's rich history. There are a lot of seasons when Porto have been outstanding. Hopefully people will look back at our season as something special that was achieved but it is regular at a club like Porto.
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