Football: Ronaldo warns the world

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The Independent Online
RONALDO provided Scotland - and the rest of the world - with a potent reminder of his striking prowess on Wednesday, just when the Scots are having problems of their own in attack.

Internazionale's gifted young striker is running into form at the right time with the World Cup finals approaching. That is bad news for Scotland, who face the holders in the opening match on 10 June.

Ronaldo scored a marvellous winner as Brazil gained a 2-1 victory in a bad-tempered friendly against Germany in Stuttgart on Wednesday. The Scotland manager, Craig Brown, will study a video of the match in which two players were sent off. Brown said: "To go to Germany and beat them there is a major achievement. I will look at the game with interest."

Ronaldo's goal, two minutes from time, came when his pace left the defence standing before a quick feint took him around the German goalkeeper Andreas Kopke.

Brazil's coach, Mario Zagallo, said: "Ronaldo is a player who learned a lot at the World Cup in '94. He didn't play but integrated himself into the side. He has developed marvellously as an athlete and gained maturity."

Zagallo's faith in the 21-year-old Ronaldo was emphasised in the second half when he gave him the captain's armband after Dunga was sent off.

Germany's coach, Berti Vogts, was quick to label Brazil as his "absolute top favourites for the World Cup". However, Zagallo said: "I don't think you can talk about favourites at a World Cup, especially when you have countries like Italy and Germany there, both of whom have several world titles."

The other red card apart from Dunga went to the Germany's veteran central defender Jurgen Kohler, who was sent off for a vicious tackle on Roberto Carlos in the first half.

The English referee, David Elleray, could have shown more than two red cards if he had not been in one of his lenient moods, such was the cynical nature of the game.

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