Germany defender Jerome Boateng has stated that he can't be solely responsible for keeping Portugal midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo in check, according to German publication Bild.
Joachim Low's side face Portugal in a Group G fixture on Monday, with both sides aiming to get off to the best possible start with a win. Both teams are incredibly strong going forward, but each have shown collective weaknesses at the back, with Ronaldo solely capable of tearing Germany's porous defence to shreds.
Germany have not lost to Portugal since a 3-0 defeat in a Euro 2000 group game, and have since gone on to secure three crucial victories against the Iberian outfit.
In 2012, Paulo Bento's side were yet again on the losing end when Germany secured a slim 1-0 victory, leaving the Navigators dreams of reaching the quarter-finals of the European Championship in tatters. Portugal are not only stronger collectively, but are more determined than ever to give Germany a taste of their own medicine in terms of inflicting a soul crunching defeat on the national eleven, with Ronaldo aiming to lead his team to glory.
It was originally feared that Portugal would have to do without the services of the Real Madrid maestro, with the 29-year-old having suffered from knee and thigh problems for the past three weeks. Questions have been also raised over the forward's fitness after he was forced to miss a part of yesterday's training session, but Bento expects his captain to be involved in Monday's stellar fixture.
Despite showing a lack of match-fitness, Boateng has stated that no-one will be underestimating what Ronaldo will do, as has rallied his Germany colleagues to stop him from playing.
He said: "I know that it is impossible to keep Ronaldo quiet for 90 minutes by yourself. No defender can do this job. We must give him no room, and stop him from playing.
"We can't allow him to turn and give him any sight of a goal scoring opportunity. We have to be so careful."
Six weeks ago Boateng and his Bayern Munich team mates were run ragged by Ronaldo and Madrid, as they suffered a 5-0 defeat in the Champions League semi-finals.
The former Manchester City defender was singled out as one of the weakest links over the course of the two fixtures, with the 25-year-old stating how he is preparing for his duel with Portugal's number seven.
He said: "I have often played against Ronaldo with Bayern, and I know him from the previous Euros. Our trainers are showing us videos and techniques on how to deal with him."
However, Boateng forms part of a very experienced Germany side who alongside Brazil and Spain are one of the favourites to lift the World Cup on July 13, with the defender stating that he isn't being caught up with all the pressure surrounding the game.
He said:"I am not sitting in my room and watching five videos about Ronaldo every day."
The 27-year-old has also explained his view on being switched from his desired centre-back position to right-back, and has vowed to prosper in this role for the course of Germany's World Cup campaign.
He said: "The trainer knows that I prefer to play in Centre-Back. But when he is convinced that I can help the team in an outside role, then I will play in this role to the best of my capability."
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: https://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms