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Pepe: Portugal is waiting for Spain or France

The Brazil-born defender has no preference about his side's semifinal opponent and says that the players believe they can go all the way and secure the title in Poland-Ukraine.

Portugal defender Pepe says that the team's 1-0 quarterfinal victory over Czech Republic on Thursday shows that it can make its mark at Euro 2012.

A late goal from Cristiano Ronaldo proved the difference between the two sides and earned the Seleccao passage to the semifinals, where they will tackle either Spain or France, who face off on Saturday. Pepe is thrilled to see his side progress to the last-four stage and revealed that his teammates are prepared to take on either La Roja or Les Bleus.

"We secured an important victory, which puts us in the semifinals," he told reporters after the game. "Spain or France? We do not have any preference. Those are two great teams. We are waiting for them. I hope I will play well in that game and that we reach the final."

Portugal had to face its share of criticism after losing to Germany in its opening group game and narrowly beating Denmark to keep qualification hopes alive. Pepe insists that the scathing remarks have only made the squad stronger.

"Criticism makes us grow," he said. "The important thing is that we know we have the capacity to go as far as possible. That is how we have always approached this tournament.

"We have always felt the support of the Portuguese people. We are a small country, but with many qualities. We have shown that we are a strong footballing country and we have a statement to make in this competition."

Portugal's semifinal contest is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27 in Donetsk.

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