Cedric Soares has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to outshine the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani when Portugal face Uruguay in the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia.
The Euro 2016 winners face a tough path through the knockouts after they slipped up late on against Iran, allowing neighbours Spain to take top spot in Group B.
Portugal start against Uruguay, with the winners set to face either France or Argentina in the quarter-finals.
For Soares, having Ronaldo on board is going to be key when they stare down the South Americans on Saturday evening in Sochi.
“They have great players like we do, but we have the best player in the world,” Soares said.
“We will study them. They’re a strong team, but we also have our qualities and we will try to win the game.” The Real Madrid star fired a hat-trick against Spain in a thrilling 3-3 draw in Portugal’s opening game, while Ronaldo also headed home the only goal in a 1-0 win against Morocco.
He did, however, miss a crucial penalty in the 1-1 draw with Iran.
Uruguay, meanwhile, have failed to impress many neutrals at the World Cup so far although they did win all three games en route to the last 16 and are yet to concede a goal.
Both Suarez and Cavani got on the scoresheet when they brushed aside hosts Russia to take top billing in Group A.
Defender Matias Vecino is fully aware of the challenge Portugal present – and says stopping Ronaldo will be vital.
“We are facing a very strong and powerful team,” Vecino said. “The match will be defined by details and we will try to limit their forwards.”
Uruguay are 2.80 favourites to win, with Portugal priced at 2.88. The draw is 3.00 for what appears to be an even tussle.