Brazilian striker Ronaldo has been slammed as fat and out of form, but
Australian skipper Mark Viduka is wary of the two-time World Player of
the Year hitting back in their Group F match here Sunday.
Ronaldo was slated for his lacklustre performance in Brazil's 1-0 win
over Croatia in Berlin last Tuesday where he was substituted in the
second half and replaced by Real Madrid teammate Robinho.
The Real Madrid attacker, who has been dogged by injury and fitness
problems, needed treatment at a Frankfurt hospital this week after
complaining of dizzy spells.
But the Australians need no reminding how potent the 29-year-old
marksman can be as the leading scorer at the 2002 World Cup.
"People might say he's out of shape, but he's still dangerous," Viduka
said at a pre-match press conference here Saturday.
"He's still one of the best players in the world. As a striker myself, I
have looked up to him for years.
"In his career he has had ups and down like most footballers, but he is
a world class player."
Australian coach Guus Hiddink also spoke of the dangers Ronaldo
possesses for opposing defences.
"He can be sleepy at times," Hiddink said. "But he can strike in just
one or two seconds. He is very dangerous."
Ronaldo needs just one goal to move ahead of Pele as Brazil's top
all-time World Cup goalscorer. Both have 12, two behind all-time leader
Gerd Muller of Germany.