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No special plans for Ronaldo - Podolski

No special plans for Ronaldo - Podolski

AFP

The Arsenal man is well aware of the Portugal forward's star quality but says that Germany will have no set game plan to mark the Real Madrid player out of the game

Germany are making no special plans to thwart Cristiano Ronaldo in their World Cup opener against Portugal, says Lukas Podolski.

The two teams go head to head on Monday night at the Arena Fonte Nova, with Ronaldo poised to start after recovering from the injury problems that have blighted his preparations for the tournament.

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The 29-year-old almost single-handedly fired Portugal to the competition with a stunning hat-trick in the second leg of their play-off clash with Sweden and has since won the Champions League with Real Madrid but, with Germany tipped by many as potential winners, Podolski is insistent that Joachim Low's men have not prepared any special measures in a bid to keep him shackled.

He told reporters: "We're preparing for Portugal and not for a player.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is, of course, an exceptional player and a danger to us but we also have players of great quality. If we can find our stride then we will win the game."

The Arsenal star, who was named the best young player at World Cup 2006, could start in place of the injured Marco Reus on Monday after the Borussia Dortmund forward was ruled out of the tournament.

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"We're focused on our group - we are not automatically through," he added. "Portugal are a tough opponent but we want to make a statement and record a good result."

The heat in Brazil has been a major talking point in the pre-competition build-up, with temperatures soaring in the country, and Podolski has urged his team-mates to be streetwise.

"We have to be smart because you cannot run up and down the pitch all game long in that heat but we are prepared and focused," he declared.

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