Face-off: Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo meet each other as Wales take on Portugal in the first Euro 2016 semi-final in Paris. Photographs: Patricia De Melo Moreira/Emmanuel Dunand/AFP Photo/Getty Images

For those who like a good showdown story, the first semi-final could scarcely have been better set up had it involved two guys standing with Smith &am(...)

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will go toe-to-toe in Wednesday’s Euro 2016 semi-final between Wales and Portugal. Photo: Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo versus Gareth Bale, CR7 against Team GB, top dog against top-knot. In the days leading up to Portugal against Wales an outsider migh(...)

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Ricardo Quaresma’ after his winning penalty against Poland in Marseille. Photograph: Reuters

Poland 1 Portugal 1 (Portugal win 5-3 on penalties) It has become increasingly possible to imagine Portugal with their name on the Euro 2016 trophy(...)

Cristiano Ronaldo in action during the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Photograph: Getty

Prospects The extent to which the Portuguese relied on Ronaldo last time around was pretty remarkable and though he wasn’t quite up to the task of (...)

Andre Schürrle of Chelsea celebrates after scoring the second goal against  Sporting Lisbon   at Stamford Bridge.  Photograph:  Clive Mason/Getty Images

Chelsea’s progress into the knockout phase proved serene to the last. Sporting Lisbon were outclassed here and consigned to the Europa League by a rej(...)

Sporting Lisbon’s Andre Carrillo (top) falls on  Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas after a challenge during their Champions League Group G   match at the Estadio Jose Alvade in Lisbon. Photograph: Rafael Marchante / Reuters

Sporting Lisbon 0 Chelsea 1 The scoreline might suggest this was a squeeze, an awkward evening of defensive resilience and a lead pilfered on t(...)

Clint Dempsey of the United States celebrates scoring his team’s second goal past Portugal goalkeeper Beto during the World Cup Group G game  at Arena Amazonia  in Manaus. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

Portugal 2 USA 2 Silvestre Varela broke American hearts with a goal in the dying seconds, just as Jürgen Klinsmann’s team were preparing to celebrate(...)

James McClean of the Republic of Ireland challenges Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal during the friendly international at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Portugal 5 Republic of Ireland 1: Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed his return to fitness as Portugal completed their World Cup preparations with a comforta(...)

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