Euro 2016 rivals Ronaldo, Bale ‘share mentality not just talent’

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LYON: Wales boss Chris Coleman hailed the mental strength of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale ahead of a Wednesday showdown between the two Real Madrid stars in the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

Coleman said he has received glowing reports about three-time Player of the Year Ronaldo from Welsh legend Ryan Giggs and Ronaldo’s former manager at Manchester United, Alex Ferguson.

However, he believes Bale, who has scored three goals in leading Wales to their first ever major semi-final in France, has worked just as hard to become the most expensive player in the world.

“If I ever speak to Giggsy or Alex all they speak about is his (Ronaldo’s) desire to get better,” said Coleman.

“You see that on the pitch, how motivated he is for himself to score and win. I think ever since he was young at Man Utd he had that desire to train harder than everyone to get better.

“Talent is a huge distraction, talent is not enough but he has the attitude with it, same as Bale he has the mentality to go with it.”

Captain Ashley Williams insisted Wales will not obsess over stopping Ronaldo, but acknowledged the size of the challenge.

“Obviously he is one of the greatest players in the world, but they do have other weapons,” said the Swansea City defender.

“We are not obsessing over him, we will try to nullify them as a team as we have all tournament.”