Wales have already surpassed all expectations on their first ever appearance at the European Championship finals by reaching the last four with a rousing 3-1 win over the highly-fancied Belgium.

However, the spectre of the Real Madrid teammates, the world's two most expensive players, going head-to-head adds extra spice to an already dazzling encounter in Lyon.

"It's not about two players, everyone knows that, it's about two nations in a semi-final," insisted Bale today in a bid to defuse the billing of Ronaldo and him in all-star showdown.

“He's a fantastic player, everyone knows what he can do. We concentrate on what we can do as a team, and not concentrate on individuals."

Despite winning the Champions League twice in three years with Madrid, Bale has tended to be overshadowed by Ronaldo in the Spanish capital, where the Portuguese is a living legend as the top scorer in Real's history.

However, of the two Bale has been in better form in France, scoring in all of Wales' group games and forcing Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley into the own goal with a devilish cross which decided their last 16 tie. By contrast, Ronaldo has look surly, stressed and well off his usually impeccable standards in front of goal.

The three-time world player of the year scored twice against Hungary to become the only player to score in four separate European championships. But he failed to find the net against Iceland, Austria, Croatia and Poland. However, Portugal midfielder Andre Gomes defended his captain's displays.

"He has worked a lot for the group and that is the most important thing. He has given his all," said the Valencia man.

"Bale is a reference for Wales just as Cristiano is for us. Bale knows the Spanish league, but I have also played against British teams before and I know their style. They are strong, aggressive, they attack and counter-attack very well."

"You can't talk about favourites in a semi-final. If Wales have got this far it is because they have deserved too. We have to have respect."

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