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Confederations Cup

Santos 'will go to the end of the world' with Portugal stars

21:08 SAST 2017/06/27
fernando santos - cropped
The Portugal boss as absolutely no doubt his reigning European champions will fight just as hard as Chile in the Confederations Cup semi-final

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said he would go to "the end of the world" with his players as he underlined his confidence ahead of their Confederations Cup semi-final.

The European champions face Chile in Kazan on Wednesday looking to continue their unbeaten campaign in Russia and reach a second major final in the last 12 months.

Chile have been tipped by many as favourites to win the competition, the Copa America holders having won admirers for their hard-working performances backed by thousands of travelling fans.

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Santos, however, says Portugal will be just as fired-up for the challenge.

"I always trust my team. I have unshakeable confidence. I'll go to the end of the world with these players," he told a news conference.

"There are no two teams that play the same. Chile have quality players, are very dynamic and are very aggressive and combative. But we're descended from Portuguese, Lusitanic blood, we're warriors, we have a great capacity to suffer and have dedication to our people. So in that sense, we're equal on the field.

"It's not easy to understand how they play because they are very dynamic so we have to pay attention to their movements. They're not a traditional team. We're ready for that. We know their good points and like every team they have less strong points."

Chile boss Juan Antonio Pizzi had appeared respectfully confident in his side's chances of containing Portugal and captain Cristiano Ronaldo, but Santos rejected the idea that he had less belief in his own players.

"Portugal are clear contenders for the title," he said. "I have total confidence in my team. I didn't hear his [Pizzi's] interview but I respect his statements. We'll see what happens on the pitch.

"I hope to go back home on July 3 happy."

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Indeed, Santos pointed to Ronaldo as an inspiring figure for the rest of the squad, adding: "You don't ask him for anything. We ask him to play as usual.

"Cristiano has shown that on the field. His leadership, his presence as captain is excellent. He dedicates all his time to the team and he will defend them 100 per cent."