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World Cup: Ronaldo returns as pointless Portugal play to save campaign

June 22, 2014 15:11 IST

World Cup: Ronaldo returns as pointless Portugal play to save campaign

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Cristiano Ronaldo is all set for his second chance to shine in Brazil when pointless Portugal attempt to get their World Cup campaign back on track against Juergen Klinsmann's United States in sultry Manaus on Sunday.

Despite rumours swirling around the internet about the condition of his left knee, the World Player of the Year is expected to start the Group G encounter against an American side chasing a win which would earn them a last 16 place.

The United States want to put Ronaldo's Portugal in their place when they meet in their second group game on Sunday, U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann said on the eve of the match.

Germany's 2-2 draw with Ghana on Saturday means the Americans will qualify for the second round if they beat the Portuguese, who are bottom of the group with no points.

"We want to put Cristiano and his team in place. We want to get out there with all the energy that we have, with all the discipline that we're going to bring, with all the aggression we're going to bring to our play and make it our game," he said.

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal works out during training at Arena Amazonia in Manaus on Saturday
Photographs: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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'If you pay too much attention to Ronaldo someone else will beat us'

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The U.S. will be without forward Jozy Altidore, who left the Ghana game early with a hamstring injury. He will most be likely be replaced by Aron Johannsson.

Although the Americans had several close shaves against Ghana, Klinsmann denied his team had been lucky.

"There is no perfect game against anybody in the World Cup, so you will always give chances away, you will always make some mistakes at a certain point," he told a news conference.

Ghana's draw with Germany showed how well the United States had done to beat the African side, he added.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard said it would be a mistake to focus too much attention on the World Player of the Year.

"If you pay too much attention to Ronaldo someone else will beat us... we have to know where he is," he said.

Howard also said the U.S. team had not trained specially for the heat and humidity in Manaus, which is in the middle of the Amazon jungle.

"We're fit and we're conditioned and as long as we get good sleep and stay hydrated we should be fine," he said.

Complete coverage of the football World Cup

 


Image: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal works out during training at Arena Amazonia in Manaus on Saturday
Photographs: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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