Euro 2012 co-host Poland takes on Portugal
By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA
WARSAW, Poland (AP) The National Stadium in Warsaw will get its first test Wednesday when European Championship co-host Poland plays Portugal in a friendly.
The stadium, which will be the venue of the opening Euro 2012 match between Poland and Greece on June 8, was built for the tournament, which will be co-hosted by Ukraine. The stadium opened late last month after a six-month delay.
With Cristiano Ronaldo in the Portugal squad, the Euro 2004 finalists will be among the favorites to advance from the group stage later this year.
"It's silly to admit, because I have never been afraid of confrontation with any player, but when I think about Ronaldo I can feel my knees tremble a little," Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny said. "His shots from a distance make you wish you were not playing against him."
Portugal arrived in Warsaw on Monday and held a brief workout. Both teams trained at the National Stadium on Tuesday.
"On Wednesday we will try to have the game our way, but the opponents will be strong and we will feel the pressure, just like during the European Championship," Poland coach Franciszek Smuda said.
Portugal coach Paulo Bento called up 20-year-old Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira for the first time, while injured FC Porto striker Silvestre Varela was ruled out. Also, Toulouse midfielder Paulo Machado has been brought in for the injured Carlos Martins.
For Poland, Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski injured a thigh muscle and was undergoing tests on Tuesday to help Smuda decide whether he can play. Also, Anderlecht defender Marcin Wasilewski was injured and did not take part in Monday's workout.
"(It will be a) good test for us," Poland forward Ireneusz Jelen said. "And what's more, we will be able to acquaint ourselves with the National Stadium."
Associated Press writer Barry Hatton in Lisbon, Portugal, contributed to this report.
Updated February 28, 2012