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Nani: Ronaldo accepts being the focal point

Nani, fresh from his 100th Portugal appearance, speaks to EURO2016.com about Cristiano Ronaldo, practising penalties and being on the supposed 'easier' side of the draw.

Nani wheels away after his goal for Portugal against Hungary
Nani wheels away after his goal for Portugal against Hungary ©Getty Images

EURO2016.com: The Croatia match was historic for both you personally and the team. How did you find it?

It was a remarkable game, especially for me as it was my 100th international appearance. Because of that, I knew it would be special. However, I was very confident beforehand and we didn't end our journey there. Deep down, I knew there would be something more than the 100 international caps, so the victory was pretty sweet for us.

EURO2016.com: During the first 90 minutes there weren't many opportunities to score. Was it a case of neither team wanting to take risks?

Nani: Portugal practise penalties
Nani: Portugal practise penalties

Yes, at this stage teams are more cautious and pragmatic. I think all teams right now know that the fewer mistakes they make, the better chance they have of winning. That's certainly what we had in our minds.

EURO2016.com: Cristiano Ronaldo is inevitably always the focal point of the matches and even the training sessions. How do you think your captain deals with that?

I think after all these years it has become normal for him. It would be strange if it were the other way around. He's been used to being the one fighting to be the best player in the world for many years. He's a very charismatic player and used to being the one in the spotlight, so it's normal that he accepts being the player that is always the focal point.

Poland celebrate their round of 16 triumph
Poland celebrate their round of 16 triumph©Getty Images

EURO2016.com: What do you expect from the Poland match and what can you tell us about your opponents?

They are strong, as they have shown during this tournament. They are here with a real purpose. We're wary of them and will prepare well for them. We must give it our best and maintain high levels of concentration. We have to do this if we want to beat whoever stands between ourselves and the final. We have to believe.

EURO2016.com: Portugal's side of the draw means they can't meet the likes of Germany, Italy or France until the final. How important is that?

It's true there are supposedly stronger teams on the other side of the draw compared with the ones we'll face. That's what people think, based on history and reputations. However, if we look at the here and now it's not like that.

Poland are at the same level as any team from the other side of the draw – they showed that against Germany. There's also Belgium and Wales, who have shown they have players who can decide a match. So we have to remain united and believe.

Watch Portugal beat England on penalties in 2004
Watch Portugal beat England on penalties in 2004

EURO2016.com: We've seen the players practising penalties in training. How important might that be?

It's very important. We have to train for every possibility because we have to be prepared for what might happen. It's normal to practise penalties as we have to improve our technique and our confidence. If pens do happen, we're confident and well prepared.