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Portugal vs. France not just Ronaldo vs. Mbappé Silva ESPN

Portugal vs France not just Ronaldo vs Mbappé Silva ESPN
Portugal's Euro 2024 quarterfinal against France is not just about Cristiano Ronaldo versus Kylian Mbappé, according to Bernardo Silva.
  • Rob Dawson, CorrespondentJul 4, 2024, 03:23 PM ET

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HAMBURG, Germany -- Portugal's Euro 2024 quarterfinal against France is not just about Cristiano Ronaldo versus Kylian Mbappé, according to Bernardo Silva.

The match at Volksparkstadion on Friday will see Ronaldo and Mbappé go head-to-head as captains of their respective national teams.

It's been billed as a "passing of the baton" from Ronaldo to Mbappé in what could be the 39-year-old's last appearance at the European Championship.

Silva has played with both players but insists the game means more than just an individual battle.

"It's not about Kylian and Cris, it's about Portugal and France," Silva told a news conference on Thursday.

"They are at different stages of their careers. Cristiano is one of the best players that there has ever been and Kylian is still in the beginning or middle of his career. The most important thing is not about them, it's about Portugal and France."

Kylian Mbappé and Cristiano Ronaldo will be the center of attention when France face off with Portugal. OZAN KOSEINA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Silva was once a teammate of Mbappé at Monaco, but said their friendship will be suspended for a day.

"He is a wonderful player," said the Manchester City midfielder.

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"I can only wish him the best for his career, but not tomorrow. This is an amazing chance to be one step closer to our ultimate goal which is to win the trophy. I don't think there is a favourite. They are two national teams with amazing players. We need to be at a very high level to beat France."

Portugal have faced criticism following their round-of-16 tie with Slovenia, when they needed penalties to book their place in the quarterfinals after a 0-0 draw.

While his reluctance to substitute Ronaldo has been questioned, Portugal coach Roberto Martínez insists every decision he makes is for the good of the team.

"Criticism is part of the job," he said.

"I have information, and the staff and I prepare each separate game. Criticism shows how passionate people are about the national team and we accept that.

"I see the players every day and make decisions. I'm not focused on myself. My job is to get the players performing as best as they can and that's what I'll do."

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