Arsenal midfielder and the captain of the Czech national team, Tomas Rosicky, has said that he thinks Portuguese star forward Cristiano Ronaldo does not care for defensive duties but does concede he is a dangerous threat going forward. The comment only serves to highlight criticism already surrounding the Real Madrid forward's game.
Ronaldo scored a stunning 56 goals last season, to help Madrid win the Spanish league for the first time in four years, as well as enjoy a semi-final run in the Champions League. However, his reported unwillingness to help his team out defensively, Rosicky feels, holds him back from being lauded as one of the best in the world and could help tilt the balance in his side's favour, when the two meet in the first quarterfinal for the 2012 European Championships; read the IBTimes UK preview here.
"He's a good attacker, but he doesn't want to defend. Sometimes you can be so good you can afford not to help the defence and just score goals. But is he the best player in the world? I don't know if he is worthy," The Sun quoted Rosicky as saying.
"People say Portugal are the favourites but how do you recognise a big team. Especially out here, all the teams are strong and only small details will decide who wins. There are not five big teams then the rest of us. This will be one of our most difficult matches in the Euros but we feel we have a chance to go through even against Portugal," he added.
Meanwhile, Czech Republic boss Michal Bilek said his team needed to closely mark Ronaldo in the quarterfinal clash on 22 June. Bilek knows Ronaldo will pose a big threat if he is given any room. It is believed the Czech will focus, therefore, on defending before attacking.
"We'll concentrate on our own game, we know Portugal have a lot of dangerous players in midfield and forwards such as Nani, (Helger) Postiga and Ronaldo. He's an excellent player and we have that in mind and we'll adjust our tactics to be more defensive," the Telegraph quoted Bilek as saying.
However, the coach also insisted their defensive tactics would not be only for Ronaldo.
"We know that Portugal are also very compact and balanced, Ronaldo is dangerous but he's not the only dangerous player so we're not just preparing for him but also the whole Portugal team," he added.