Spain skipper Ramos hoping to avoid peak Ronaldo in Portugal clash

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Two Real Madrid team-mates are ready to lock horns at World Cup 2018, with both hoping that the other does not perform at their best

Sergio Ramos hopes the "dangerous" Cristiano Ronaldo is below his best when Spain face Portugal at the World Cup.

The Real Madrid team-mates will do battle in a blockbuster Group B clash in Sochi on Friday.

Ramos said he preferred to be playing alongside Ronaldo rather than against the star forward, but he is simply hoping the 33-year-old is not at his best at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.

"I'd rather have him on my team than against me. We know how dangerous he can be," the Spain captain told a news conference.

"He ended the season in outstanding shape. He's a constant threat.

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"Not only Ronaldo but the Portugal squad are very talented. There are many players who can hurt you quickly, a lot of skill and safe in their defensive formation.

"We will see a match for all sports lovers. It will be beautiful. I hope Cristiano doesn't play his best match."

Spain go into the opener after a tumultuous week during which head coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked and replaced by Fernando Hierro.

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