Lahm and Boateng can tackle Ronaldo, says Low

The Germany boss believes that the Bayern Munich duo will be instrumental in making sure that the Portugal winger does not impose himself on Monday's Group G clash
Joachim Low has tasked Jerome Boateng and Philipp Lahm with keeping Cristiano Ronaldo quiet when Germany face Portugal on Monday.

The Ballon d'Or winner was a pivotal figure in his nation's World Cup qualifying campaign, scoring eight times - including all four in the Seleccao's 4-2 play-off aggregate win over Sweden.

Low expects his Germany side to face a tough challenge in getting their campaign under way but believes that his team have the defensive strength to keep their opponents from successfully hitting them on the break.

"We're up against a side who are right behind us in the world rankings," the 54-year-old told a press conference, "and they are the world champions when it comes to the counterattack. Look at the class they have got - Portugal are definitely tough opponents.

"Boateng has played a role who can keep Ronaldo in check. So too has Lahm, so together they will deal with him.

"You cannot let him out of your sight, literally. You've always got to ask: 'what's Ronaldo doing, where is Ronaldo?'.

"Ronaldo and Nani seem to be drifting into no-man's land, then the ball is suddenly there at their feet and they are ready to attack you."

Portugal failed to progress beyond the round of 16 in the 2010 finals, succumbing to a 1-0 defeat to Spain, but Low feels that that they have the potential to have an extremely successful championship this time around.

"Portugal have always gone a very long way in tournaments," he continued. "They reached the semis in 2006 and the semis in the last European Championships, when they were just one penalty kick short of sending Spain home.

"You could see Portugal as a finalist, with the likes of [Joao] Moutinho, Nani and Ronaldo up front, then [Bruno] Alves, Pepe and [Fabio] Coentrao all experienced guys at the back.

"They all play at the highest level and there is no other side in the world who know how to defend while preparing their next attacks the way Portugal do."