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LISBON, April 16 (AFP)- Brazil can count on key duo Ronaldo and Rivaldo for their World Cup warmup against Portugal here on Wednesday although Ronaldo's participation will be limited to half of the match.
Ronaldo scored twice for Inter Milan against Brescia on Sunday in only his second full game in an injury-wracked two and a half years.
But the 25-year-old former world footballer of the year suffered cramp in both legs after the match, preventing him from training with the national squad on Monday.
Ronaldo's personal physiotherapist Nilton Petrone has given him injections to control the cramps, while the player himself said he was confident the problem would improve as he played more.
"I've been told that this is normal when you haven't played much, but that the cramps will go away as I play more matches," he said.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said he wanted Ronaldo to ease back to fitness and therefore would only use him for 45 minutes, as he did in the last international against Yugoslavia, a 1-0 victory.
"I'm very satisfied with Ronaldo's recovery," said Scolari. "My concern now is that he does not play too many matches, which is why he will only play 45 minutes against Portugal."
But Ronaldo desperately wants to play on Wednesday and revive the so-called 'Triple R' as he is expected to team up with Barcelona midfield star Rivaldo and 22-year-old Paris Saint Germain midfielder Ronaldinho for the first time since the 4-2 victory over Argentina in 1999.
"I remember that match well, especially as we beat Argentina," said Ronaldo, whose wife and son have travelled from Italy to watch the Portugal match.
"My first priority is the World Cup and I hope this match helps to bond together the team."
Asked whether he feared another injury could keep him out of the action in South Korea and Japan, Ronaldo said: "Footballers go on to the field with one aim, to play. So if an injury happens, there's nothing you can do so I can only cross my fingers and hope it doesn't happen to me."
Barcelona officials would prefer that Rivaldo does not play in order to rest his troublesome left knee ahead of this month's European Champions League semi-finals, but national team doctor Jose Luis Runco said the player was fit enough.
Scolari said "90 percent of the team playing on Wednesday are the World Cup squad", although there is still no place for either veteran striker Romario or for Mario Jardel, a local hero after scoring 37 times for Sporting Lisbon this season.
Portugal meanwhile step up their World Cup preparations by welcoming back influential Real Madrid midfielder Luis Figo, Paulo Sousa and goalkeeper Vitor Baia as they seek to erase memories of the 4-1 defeat to Finland in their last match.
 

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International Preview: Portugal-Brazil
Portugal - Brazil | News Archive

Ronaldo is likely to see 45 minutes action (Allsport)
04/16/2002. BACKGROUND

The week's most appetising friendly? Surely. While it is true that both nations aren't in the of best shape at present, on their day, they remain two of the most entertaining sides in world football. Never mind Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's admission that 'If we have to play ugly, we will play ugly', they have the players to dazzle on the big stage, and still possess some of the true entertainers of the world game.

Portugal coach Antonio Oliveira must lift his troops after last month's highly embarrassing 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Finland. He should have little trouble doing so and the common consensus is that this was a freak result.

Oliveira has admitted that he will again go with just the single striker up-front in Japan and South Korea. It remains to be seen who will take this slot -Nuno Gomes and Pauleta are the candidates- but it is certain that Portugal's remaining two friendlies will be crucial in determining this. Gomes had an excellent Euro 2000 but has been in poor form for Fiorentina this season, while Pauleta has netted 21 times for Bordeaux but is not pitting himself against the world's finest players each week.

Brazil coach Scolari is a man who cares little for public opinion. He has resisted many calls for the return of Romario and looks set to omit him from his World Cup squad, despite the striker's desperate plea last week. Sporting Lisbon's Mario Jardel is another player at odds with the coach and was frustrated last month when Ronaldo was given the nod ahead of him to feature in the squad that beat Yugoslavia 1-0 in a friendly.

"I will have to stop playing and scoring goals to be called up again," he said after hearing the squad.

There is little doubt that Brazil have the players to reach the last four of the World Cup. They still have the best pair of attacking full-backs in world football -Cafu and Roberto Carlos- while in midfield, Emerson is the all-round player that many countries crave. Rivaldo may have underachieved for his nation in the past, but 28 goals in 55 appearances is not to be sneezed at. In attack, meanwhile, Ronaldo has shown glimpses for his club Inter that he can return to somewhere near the old level, and will be the striker no one wants to face in Japan and South Korea. So the spine remains, now it is time for the national side to once again prove they are the world's best. What better place to start than against the team dubbed 'the Brazil of Europe'?

FORMGUIDE

Brazil Last Six Matches: LWWWWW

The win against Venezuela booked the Brazilian's passage to the World Cup, but it was a lot tighter than it should have been. This victory was followed by friendly wins against Bolivia (6-0), Saudi Arabia (1-0), Iceland (6-1) and Yugoslavia last month when Luizao got the only goal of the game.

Portugal Last Six Matches: WWWWDL

In the qualifiers Oliveira's men won comfortably against Cyprus, Andorra, Cyprus again and Estonia. This sealed qualification from a tough group including Holland and the Republic Of Ireland. They then drew 1-1 in a friendly with Spain before crashing 4-1 at home to Finland in their only recent defeat.

LATEST TEAM NEWS

Portugal- Manuel Rui Costa and Nuno Gomes are both out injured, while Simao Sabrosa and Ricardo Sa Pinto are long-term absentees and will miss the World Cup with knee injuries. However, Luis Figo, Vitor Baia and Paulo Sousa have all recovered from injury and will start the match.

PL- 4-5-1- Ricardo Pereira, Abel Xavier, Fernando Couto, Jorge Costa, Rui Jorge, Armando Petit, Paulo Sousa, Luis Figo, Sergio Conceicao, Joao Pinto, Pedro Pauleta.

Brazil- Scolari is set to go with a three-pronged attack of Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, with the latter playing just behind. Ronaldo is expected to play for just 45 minutes. Cafu and Roberto Carlos will operate down the flanks, with Gilberto Silva and Emerson acting as the holding midfielders. Lucio, Anderson Polga and Roque Junior will play in the back three.

PL- 3-5-2- Marcos, Anderson Polga, Lucio, Roque Junior, Cafu, Gilberto Silva, Emerson, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Ronaldo

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Luis Figo (Portugal)- the 29-year-old has only recently returned from injury but put in a highly impressive display against Bayern Munich last week. He may have lost a little pace, but still has plenty of skill and trickery.

Ronaldo (Brazil)- The Inter Milan striker has impressed in his last two club games. He came close to scoring against Feyenoord last week, where plenty of the old pace and and quick feet were on display. He then steered Inter to a victory against Brescia with two goals in the last ten minutes.

SOCCERAGE PREDICTION

An entertaining draw.

Portugal win 30%
Draw 40%
Brazil Win 30%
 

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rivaldo, ronaldo, and ronaldinho... :eek: imagine if they played romario too... :dazed:
 

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Carson35 said:
rivaldo, ronaldo, and ronaldinho... :eek: imagine if they played romario too... :dazed:
The Circle R Ranch !!!!!!!!!!!! :happy:
 

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the other 7 players;)
 

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:howler:
 

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The masterplan, 7 defending, running, fighting, scolarilized players + "Triple R" dribbling and banging in the goals, just give them a few weeks training-seasons, and it will come true :cool: :eek:

o brasil rumo ao penta :dazed:
 

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Btw,
It was probably the first time they played together in that role. I know they have played aganst Argentina twice, but it was with Luxemburgo and ronaldinho gaucho was aying up front, not in midfield, were his football normally shines more!;)


Imagine them training together for 2 weeks , what destruction wont they do to the defense of every team in the world!;) :D :cool:
 

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Haha, no doubt Luxemburgo seemed to be in love with ROnaldinho Gaucho! But, back to the subject. :D


Anyways, i am so proud of our Selecao right now.. we finished 3rd in the qualifying which is not so bad considering we didn't play like the Brazil that we could be and we have found shape in our final game, just amazing! :proud:


Forca Brazil! :star:
 

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Ze da Fiel said:
Btw,
It was probably the first time they played together in that role. I know they have played aganst Argentina twice, but it was with Luxemburgo and ronaldinho gaucho was aying up front, not in midfield, were his football normally shines more!;)


Imagine them training together for 2 weeks , what destruction wont they do to the defense of every team in the world!;) :D :cool:
Hi man,
What do you(Ze) think about this game and the team?Do you approve?And finally what are you thinking about Romario and WC?

For me,I gave up about Romario.And I do fancy this team but Roque Loser go to go.I would take Kaka instead of him and his position.His Position is completely unnecessary.Polga was good.Well we got til May 2nd.
 

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id still take romario maybe not as a starter but imagine what he could do with the other r's

plus he is my favorite player ever
so if my country is not there at least he will be;)
 

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Kaiser,
I doubt Feliipao will sacrifice his usual first half tactical system (352) for Romario. And i think Romario has given up on himself alos. His last three games he has been just a ghost in the pitch, barely doing anything, i think even he has given up.

I'd liked Brazil A LOT yesterday. I have been a big ritic of Felipao, but yesterday he showed that he has a good path to follow. Is it the best path? I don't think so, but it is definlty a good path. And as Roberto Carlos said after the game: "If we lay in the world cup like we played the first half, we will be in the final" . And i totally agree with him!;) Specially because in the world cup Ronaldo will score those sitters!;) :cool:

But of course it would be much better if Romario would be on the pitch!;)

But one thing is sure....... last year most of our players we in bad shape, out of clubs etc..etc.etc.. this year they are all coming back in the right time, and hitting form in the correct time.

We are arriving in the world cup at the best way possible. The team has gonne under severe criticism and 2 months before the world cup we did not have a defined team. Now afer this game we do have a team, and we have MANY options for this team, that most of our big opponents don't even dream about! They think we are lost , but we are cmoing back in the right time.

Just like my dad told me last year. I hope brazil loses confederation cup, copa america and is the last team to qualify for the world cup....then in the world cup we will win. I think his prophecy will be the correct one.....;) ;)

Also Kaiser,
Say we are winning a game against a defensive team. Felipao decides to change the team and put Denilson on. Just by putting Denilson on, the other team will have to put 2 men on him, cause if they leave only 1 Denilson will get passed his marker.....be whatever player that be...... and that will be very dangerous. The reaction of the other team will be very tough, specially with the "Chinese wall" that we have in this team!
 

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Excellent post you got there, Ze da fiel. It's some true words you got there, now we are starting to come together and click and this is the way all the brazillian people wanted us to do, it seems our story might be changing and it will become happy once again!

What i like is that we have indeed built alot of offensive options because Franca & Denilson off the bench will deffinately clinch some big games during the Copa! Let everyone underrate us, it'll just be better in the long run IMO.

Big Phil is starting to get some ideas and it'll come in to use later on in the road to the World Cup, i hope! :eek:


Attacking football is back! Long live the Selecao that we love! Beware everyone, we are back right on time! We have finnally built our team in the last day, Beware! Danger! :devil:


I get my Brazil jersey with Ronaldinho 21, the new one we wear now going into the World Cup.. i'm getting it tommorow baby! i will wear it with full of pride during the copa del mundo! :proud:
 

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Patrick,
Hod on in the number, i don't know if Ronaldinho will get #21, he might get #7.

Wait until May 6th , then we will know what are the squad numbers!;) :cool:
 

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I got my jersey today with Ronaldinho 21 on the back! :proud:


Oh well, it won't be the end of the world if he gets #7 instead of 21. I'll just get my dad to switch with me when he gets his. :D
 

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Ze da Fiel said:
Kaiser,
I doubt Feliipao will sacrifice his usual first half tactical system (352) for Romario. And i think Romario has given up on himself alos. His last three games he has been just a ghost in the pitch, barely doing anything, i think even he has given up.

I'd liked Brazil A LOT yesterday. I have been a big ritic of Felipao, but yesterday he showed that he has a good path to follow. Is it the best path? I don't think so, but it is definlty a good path. And as Roberto Carlos said after the game: "If we lay in the world cup like we played the first half, we will be in the final" . And i totally agree with him!;) Specially because in the world cup Ronaldo will score those sitters!;) :cool:

But of course it would be much better if Romario would be on the pitch!;)

But one thing is sure....... last year most of our players we in bad shape, out of clubs etc..etc.etc.. this year they are all coming back in the right time, and hitting form in the correct time.

We are arriving in the world cup at the best way possible. The team has gonne under severe criticism and 2 months before the world cup we did not have a defined team. Now afer this game we do have a team, and we have MANY options for this team, that most of our big opponents don't even dream about! They think we are lost , but we are cmoing back in the right time.

Just like my dad told me last year. I hope brazil loses confederation cup, copa america and is the last team to qualify for the world cup....then in the world cup we will win. I think his prophecy will be the correct one.....;) ;)

Also Kaiser,
Say we are winning a game against a defensive team. Felipao decides to change the team and put Denilson on. Just by putting Denilson on, the other team will have to put 2 men on him, cause if they leave only 1 Denilson will get passed his marker.....be whatever player that be...... and that will be very dangerous. The reaction of the other team will be very tough, specially with the "Chinese wall" that we have in this team!
Nice post there Ze,After reading your post I got happy and more confident.I agree with you on everything and hope your dads prophecy comes true.
Felipao seems to be changing to 4-4-2 at times but its hard to tell while Ronaldinho is everywhere.You are right about our players coming to form just in time.I hope no one gets seriously injured now,specially R9.With three games left in Serie A and one of them against Lazio and Couto.
It was great to see Rivaldo passing to other players.Well I just hope we surprise the sh*t out of all the favorites in the world cup.And last ,I don't want to see Romario's career ends this way.He deserves better.
 
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