In another blockbuster offering at the World Cup, Portugal take on Germany in a Group G clash. It is also the moment fans will get the first glimpse of Cristiano Ronaldo at this edition of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia analysed the game and also shared his thoughts on the fitness of Ronaldo.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Ronaldo was in great form in the 2013-14 season for Real Madrid. How difficult will it be for him to shake off the injury and find form?
Portugal depend on Ronaldo. He single-handedly got them to the World Cup with a hat-trick against Sweden in the play-offs. He has always performed extremely well for both club and country. So Portugal`s fortunes depend on him. Sad part is that he has been injured for the past two weeks. So it will be difficult for him to find form like he showed for Real Madrid in the La Liga and Champions League.
When we look at all the goals that Ronaldo has scored, isn`t the magic of his game visible through these goals?
The special thing about Ronaldo is that we can score all types of goals. He scores from free-kicks, penalties, long range and from the box. He has another big strength and that is his heading prowess. He can play with both feet, unlike Messi who only uses his left foot. He can score if he is given little space. But his performance will depend a lot on his fitness. Both sets of players know each other very well as therefore they know the strengths and weaknesses of one another.
What formations can we expect during this game?
Portugal will play their famous 4-3-3 formation. Ronaldo will play in his preferred position on the left and will look to cut in and shoot. Nani is yet another important player for Portugal who can change a game. Germany will play a 4-2-3-1 formation. We are not sure who will start as a striker, may be Klose. But the three attacking midfielders can play up front on their own. Muller, who was the highest scorer of the last World Cup can play there and even who who likes to cut in from the right. But when Germnay attack, all the four attackers will be in the box.
Miroslav Klose is just one goal behind Ronaldo`s World Cup record. Can he break the record?
Yes, he is just one goal behind the milestone record of 15 goals. It depends whether he will get a chance to play this time. But if he does, he will surely equal that record. He has been a very consistent scorer for Germany over the years. So if he gets sufficient playing time he may even go o to break the record of Brazil`s Ronaldo.