Sheffield Wednesday: Owls cult hero backs Cristiano Ronaldo to fire Portugal to Euro 2016 glory

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
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Jose Semedo will definitely be glued to his television screen tonight.

That’s because his close pal Cristiano Ronaldo will be in action for Portugal in the European Championship semi-finals.

Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo will lead Portugal into battle against Wales in Lyon. It is the seventh time Portugal have appeared in the last four of a major tournament.

Semedo grew up with Ronaldo, Portugal’s captain and record goal-scorer, at Sporting Lisbon. The duo have remained good friends ever since and Semedo has wished the 31-year-old well ahead of their Welsh tussle.

Semedo told The Star: “I have been in touch with Cristiano. He wanted me to go and watch the game but unfortunately I can’t make it as I’ve just started pre-season training with Wednesday.

“If they get to the final, I will do my best to be there - if the manager gives me the day off!”

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Fresh from penning a new one-year contract with Wednesday, Semedo has backed Ronaldo to fire Portugal to the final.

“He has been amazing in the tournament so far so I hope he can carry on like that and take them to the final,” said Semedo. “It would mean so much for him to win something with his country.

“It would be right up there for him in his career.

“Cristiano is a winner. He has a winning mentality and has shown that wherever he has gone whether it be Sporting Lisbon or Real Madrid.

“What he is doing for Portugal is phenomenal.”

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Portugal have flattered to deceive in the Euros. But despite failing to win a match in 90 minutes in France, Fernando Santos’ side are the bookmakers’ favourites to reach the final.

Semedo, who has made 156 appearances since joining the Owls on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic five years ago, said: “I always believed that they could go far in the competition. It will be amazing if they could go all the way.”

Wales will have to make two enforced changes to their starting line-up, with influential midfielder Aaron Ramsey and defender Ben Davies serving one-match suspensions. Jonny Williams, Andy King and Dave Edwards are pushing to fill the void left by Ramsey while James Collins could fill in for Davies.

“It will be an amazing game and hopefully Portugal will win,” said Semedo, who snubbed the advances of four clubs in England, including two Championship sides, to prolong his Hillsborough stay. “It will be a great occasion. There won’t be a lot in it. Semi-final games are decided by small details. When you reach this stage, it is because you have worked hard and deserve to be there.

“These opportunities don’t come around that often so I’m sure both teams will be looking to make the most of it.”

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