Chris Coleman: Bale-Ronaldo sub-plot won't distract Wales
Chris Coleman says his Wales side will not be distracted by the Gareth Bale-Cristiano Ronaldo sideshow in their Euro 2016 semi-final.
The two Real Madrid team-mates go head-to-head in Lyon on Wednesday as Wales and Portugal compete for a place in the final of Euro 2016.
The battle between Bale and Ronaldo will take centre stage, with some pundits even predicting that the victor could land the Ballon D'Or award this year following Real's Champions League triumph.
But Wales boss Coleman said he did not think talk of the Ballon D'Or was "in Gareth's head", with his only focus on creating further history for a nation which has never been this far in a major tournament.
"We can't affect that - myself, my staff, none of my players can affect what's said about this game coming up," Coleman said of the Bale-Ronaldo sub-plot.
"All we can affect is ourselves. If we are letting outsiders make us feel a certain way, that's our problem.
"Nobody can make you feel bad about yourself unless you give them permission.
"It's all about how you feel in yourself, being confident and sticking to your own beliefs.
"All we control is our ourselves, our group and how we approach it. Whatever is said outside I'm not too bothered by."
Portugal defender Pepe, another Real player, will also come in to close contact with Bale, who is given a free licence to roam in the Wales attack and has already scored three goals in the tournament.
But Coleman said club friendships would be put aside with so much at stake, the winners progressing to next Sunday's final at the Stade de France.
"We will have two of the best players on the planet who know each other very well," said Coleman.
"There won't be any love lost on the evening for both teams, not just Gareth and Cristiano, so any friendship will have to wait until after the game.
"It's us against them and our approach won't change.
"The message is the same because whatever we've been doing has got us where we are - concentrate on doing what we are good at.
"I don't have to pull my defenders aside and say, 'Look this team has got Cristiano Ronaldo'.
"I never did that with Eden Hazard (before Wales beat Belgium 3-1 in the quarter-final on Friday), my players know all about him.
"And I could work my defenders for the next month, drilling them about Ronaldo, but he has the capability to do something special.
"That's the danger, but we have got one in our team and it balances itself out."
Both sides are missing key players as yellow cards have caught up with individuals at this stage of the competition.
Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey miss out for Wales after collecting cautions against Belgium, while Portugal midfielder William Carvalho is also suspended.
"You have got to feel for Ben and Aaron because they have done so much to get us where we are," said Coleman.
"It's the rules, but I thought Aaron's yellow card was a harsh one.
"Eden Hazard picked the ball up and started bouncing it with his hand and didn't get a yellow card. But he stopped us from playing.
"I feel for Aaron and Ben because the level of football, intensity and emotion is so high that two yellow cards in five games to be suspended is a bit harsh.
"They are two outstanding players, but it's not as if we haven't been without them before and I have no worries about whoever steps in.
"I don't worry about these players because they know the drill, what's expected of them, and the game plan that won't change."