Lyon goalkeeper Lopes will have tough time silencing Cristiano Ronaldo
Anthony Lopes describes Cristiano Ronaldo as "extraordinary" and he knows how big a job he faces keeping his Portuguese international colleague quiet, when Olympique Lyon face Juventus in the Champions League tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
"I have been lucky enough to play alongside him. He is the captain and an extraordinary personality, a great man," the 29-year-old Lopes said.
Lopes was born near Lyon and has spent his entire club career there. But, thanks to his Portuguese roots, the goalkeeper has won seven caps and been to two major tournaments with Ronaldo, including Euro 2016 which Portugal won.
"I have gone to major tournaments with him, the Euro and the World Cup, where you have to develop links to those around you, and to do what he does every day is quite incredible," Lopes added.
"Players today take great inspiration from him."
Lyon, who host the Italian giants in the first leg of their last-16 tie, are massive underdogs against a Juve side in a hurry for Champions League success, given the massive investment they made in Ronaldo, who recently turned 35.
Last year, it was Lionel Messi who put Lyon to the sword at this stage, scoring twice as Barcelona won 5-1 in the second leg after a goalless draw in France.
"When you play Barca or Juve, the danger comes from everywhere," Lopes said.
"(But) all eyes will be on Ronaldo, especially in the stands."
Lyon want to become regulars in the Champions League knockout stage, but they just scraped through their group and have since lost star player Memphis Depay to a serious knee injury.
Serie A leaders Juventus could have Gonzalo Higuain back. The 31-year-old sat out last Saturday's 2-1 win over Spal due to a lower back injury. - AFP