Maradona: Czech Republic must 'cage the terrifying Cristiano Ronaldo'

The Argentina legend and 1986 World Cup winner has taken the time to praise the prolific attacker ahead of the Seleccao's Euro 2012 match against Michal Bilek's Group A-winners
Argentina legend Diego Maradona believes that the Czech Republic must shut out Cristiano Ronaldo if they wish to emerge victorious in Thursday's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Portugal.

The Real Madrid star struggled in the Seleccao's opening two games against Germany and Denmark, but put in a man of the match performance against the Netherlands as he netted twice to help Portugal to a 2-1 win which secured progression to the knockout stages.

Maradona sees Paulo Bento's team as favourites to triumph in the last eight clash and advised Czech coach Michal Bilek to double-up on Ronaldo.

"There is no doubt that Portugal are favoured to win this game," Maradona wrote in his column for the Times of India. "The solid defence of the Portuguese will face the solid midfield of the Czechs.

"But it is in the offence that Portugal hold the key, the advantage with Cristiano Ronaldo.

"They have him and the Czechs don't. Coach [Michal] Bilek will have to find a solution to cage the terrifying Ronaldo.

"The Czechs will have to put at least two men on him all the time, as one is not sufficient to stop him. Against the Dutch, Ronaldo ran by [Gregory] van der Wiel and [Ron] Vlaar like a hot knife through butter."

Thursday's encounter in Warsaw kicks off at 20:45CET.