Germany target threat of Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo


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The Independent Football

Germany assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick has called on his side to keep Cristiano Ronaldo out of shooting range when they face Portugal tomorrow.

Germany open their Euro 2012 Group B campaign with Joachim Low's right-hand man calling for the Real Madrid forward to be barred from entering the final third of the field and not given any chances from dead-ball situations.

"We have our own philosophy, which is to aim to win every tackle and commit as few fouls as possible," said Flick.

"In the last 20, 25 or 30 yards, we will try to be careful in the tackles.

"Ronaldo has great free-kick quality and so we have got to pay attention, but we do have a man in our goal who is absolutely world-class."

Manuel Neuer will be looking to keep Ronaldo and co out, but the other figures in the Germany back four are not yet fully resolved.

While captain Philipp Lahm has been confirmed as left full-back, and his Bayern Munich team-mate Holger Badstuber practically assured of his place in the centre, two shirts are still up for grabs.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is likely to take one of them, despite taking a knock in training yesterday.

"Per was a doubt yesterday, but fortunately nothing bad happened and it was not as dramatic as we had initially feared," reported Flick at a press conference.

"Last night, he was given the green light so all our players are available."

Jerome Boateng is the likely right full-back, but Benedikt Howedes, Mats Hummels and Lars Bender are Low's other candidates for what could be a busy night for the Germany defence.

"When you see Nani and Ronaldo, two extraordinary players, in their attack, then you have got to be very alert when Portugal have the ball," said Flick.

"It is a game against an opponent who are on a par with us and we have got to give it our best to make a good start to the tournament.

"When you win, it gives you good vibes and more self-confidence."