Rakitic confident of eliminating Ronaldo and Portugal

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The 28-year-old is hoping to replicate club success at international level as Croatia bid for a place in the quarter-finals to set up a clash with either Poland or Switzerland

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic hopes he will stay ‘ahead’ of Cristiano Ronaldo and help his side eliminate Portugal at the last 16 stage of Euro 2016 on Saturday.

Rakitic won La Liga with Barcelona last season, finishing a point above Ronaldo’s Real Madrid, and the 28-year-old is confident he can get the upper-hand over his opposite number at international level.

"The plan is to repeat the game we played against Spain," Rakitic told newspaper Blic. "We must provide maximum effort, enter the game with 100 per cent motivation and die for every ball.

"Cristiano Ronaldo cannot win without the rest of the [Portugal] team. I was ahead of him and Real Madrid with Barca, I hope for the same outcome at the European Championship.

"We don't think about the trophy, but go step-by-step and I think we're powerful enough to eliminate Portugal.

The winner will play either Switzerland or Poland in the quarter-final stage on Thursday in Marseille.

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