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Tabarez: It will take entire Uruguay team to stop Cristiano Ronaldo

Tabarez: It will take entire Uruguay team to stop Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group B soccer match between Iran and Portugal at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on June 25, 2018.

Ahead of their return to the Black Sea coast, the more prosaic feel that ran throughout their slow march to Euro 2016 glory has returned, with Ronaldo giving Portugal an early lead it hung on to against Morocco before Ricardo Quaresma's sublime strike illuminated a VAR-fueled 1-1 draw with Iran.

With 27 meetings against Ronaldo in the bruising Spanish capital derby between Atletico and Real Madrid, winning eight times, drawing nine and losing 10, few players are better placed to come up with a strategy to shackle Ronaldo than Godin.

The unquestionable driving force and inspiration for Fernando Santos' men, Ronaldo flew out of the blocks in this tournament but missed a penalty and might have been sent off in a tempestuous encounter with Iran.

There has been little love lost when they have met: Ronaldo once punched Godin during a Spanish Super Cup tie, but the defender got his own back in a meeting a year ago by elbowing the Portuguese in the head.

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani has scored three World Cup goals, one v Germany in 2010, one v Costa Rica in 2014 and one v Russian Federation in 2018.

Uruguay, meanwhile, go into the knockout stages aiming to win their third World Cup, and first since 1950, in Russian Federation.

Football statisticians Gracenote Sports believe Portugal have a 6% chance of winning the World Cup, while Uruguay's chances are rated at 5%.

Santos played down suggestions that fans might be in for a boring game as two teams with water-tight defences face off.

The World Cup knockout stages get underway on Saturday and the second game of the day will see Uruguay and Portugal meet in Sochi.

Uruguay will be looking to win their opening four games at a World Cup tournament for only the second time after 1930 when they won the first ever World Cup.

All five of Uruguay's goals at the 2018 World Cup have been scored from set-pieces (3 from corners, 1 from direct free-kick and 1 from indirect free-kick).

Luis Suarez has scored seven World Cup goals for Uruguay, second only to Oscar Miguez (8) - Suarez scored a brace against South Korea in his only previous World Cup appearance in the round of 16 back in 2010. "It's not just in this World Cup that they have not been conceding goals". However, he did score a hat-trick against Spain in his previous game at Sochi's Fisht Stadium.

This is Fernando Santos' fourth major tournament in a row as manager. Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol, meanwhile, predicted a 2-1 victory for Uruguay. That was in 2010, when they went on to reach the semi finals.

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