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Full match report

Parreira stands by Ron

14 Jun 2006 - 08:58:25

Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has confirmed that star striker Ronaldo will start against Australia, despite a below-par display in the 1-0 win over Croatia.

The Real Madrid superstar offered little threat during his 69 minutes on the pitch, drawing criticism from a number of the Croat squad for his apparent lack of fitness.

However, Parreira retains complete confidence in his player, saying: "Ronaldo has not been playing for the last two months and has had only two friendlies.

"It was natural he felt a bit heavy as it was very hot, but I'm sure he will improve as the tournament goes on.

"Ronaldo will start against Australia because he needs to gain pace and he is a decisive player.

"Australia are physically strong with three or four very good players from the European leagues - Kewell, Bresciano and Cahill especially.

"Our business is to put the ball on the pitch and use our technical capabilities, we are not going to fight it out.

"That game is decisive, for whoever wins it has qualified for the last 16 and that's our initial objective."

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