BRAZIL has a bit of homework to do before
its World Cup clash with Australia in Munich on June 18, if the words of
star striker Ronaldo are any guide.
The Real Madrid forward declared he had never heard of champion
Socceroos Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka.
Ronaldo claimed he only knew of one Australian player, "the one who
plays for Osasuna" -- meaning John Aloisi, who scored the winning
penalty in the playoff shootout against Uruguay but who actually left
Spanish side Osasuna months ago to join Alaves.
And his comments came despite having twice played against the Socceroos,
including a number of the current Australian squad, during the 1997
In an interview with Alpha magazine, Ronaldo also said teams such as
Australia would be "all excited" about playing in the World Cup, but
warned that progress to the second round would be "more difficult".
"All the best players from all the best countries are coming to play. I
believe that countries with less tradition and less experience in World
Cups will not have the same benefits," he said.
Former Socceroo coach Frank Farina said yesterday Ronaldo's insult could
work to the team's advantage.
"It's a total lack of respect for him to come out and say that. Even if
you don't know any players, the humble thing is to say, 'They're a good
side. We're wary of them'. I think this could stand us in good stead and
give us a surprise factor," Farina said.
"It shows that the players are maybe underestimating us.
"I know that their coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, is quite
complimentary about us, but maybe he'll have a job to get that across to
"If that's the players' mindset, it could turn round and bite them on