United States vs Portugal World Cup 2014: USA to put Cristiano Ronaldo 'in his place'

United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann targets the world's best player

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The Independent Football

Jurgen Klinsmann has urged his lesser known United States players to put the world's best, Cristiano Ronaldo, in his place when they take on Portugal tonight.

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Ronaldo endured a torrid first match at the World Cup when his Portugal side capitulated 4-0 against Germany.

Amid uncertainty over the Real Madrid striker's fitness heading into their must-not-lose Group G encounter with the United States, there is a real risk that the Fifa Ballon d'Or holder may miss his opportunity to impress in Brazil.

His chances of making an impact on the tournament will have to overcome the attentions of the United States. Klinsmann has urged his players to ignore reputations heading into a match in which Ronaldo is sure to be paid close attention.

"There’s a lot of admiration for him (Ronaldo) and for the players who play at big clubs and in the Champions League," the former Germany international told reporters.

"But this is the moment to prove yourself, to step up, play those guys and put them in place. We want to put Cristiano in place.

"We want to make it our game, we are ready for that, we have been preparing for that a long time. We are not worried about any players, we respect them of course, as we always do, but we are ready."


With victory over Ghana in their first match, the United States can guarantee their place in the knock-out phase with a win tonight.

USA goalkeeper Tim Howard, who played with Ronaldo at Manchester United, also revealed there are plans in place to take care of Portugal's greatest threat.

"We want to bottle him up, it has not been done for four or five years but we’ll see what we can do. We have a gameplan and if we put that in place we’ll give ourselves a good chance.

"If we pay too much attention to Ronaldo someone else will beat us. We’ve got to be diligent, we have to be aware of their danger men. We have a gameplan in place and now we have to go and execute it."