United States players ‘not worried’ about Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo


Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo is the reigning FIFA Ballon d’Or winner and one of the most talked about players at the 2014 World Cup, but don’t expect the United States to be intimidated by his stature. On Thursday, United States players talked to Yahoo! Sports about not worrying about Ronaldo ahead of the critical match on Sunday.

More from Soccer

That’s not to say the United States isn’t aware of who Ronaldo is or his accomplishments. Instead, for the United States its more about themselves and less about the celebrity of Ronaldo and the media circus that surrounds him at the World Cup.

“We don’t make a big deal about Cristiano,” midfielder Jermaine Jones said, via the Yahoo! Sports report. 

A lot of the speculation ahead of Sunday’s match is on Ronaldo and his health, but a good bit is also about the role Ronaldo will play should he be healthy enough. Just don’t expect the United States to part of the group worrying about either situation.

“I think we are trying to make it our own game and if he plays on the left side, he will play against Fabian [Johnson],” Jones said, via Yahoo! Sports. “We have trust in Fabian that he can stop him.”

Johnson isn’t talking like a player scared by the big stage of possibly man-marking Ronaldo either.

“I think it’s not just Ronaldo,” Johnson said. “It’s the whole team. They have great players, good players, and we have to stop all of them. Not just focus on one guy. … I’m just trying to play my game.”

Whether the United States players mean what they are saying or are saying the right things to the media, there is clearly an air of confidence in this team. If the USMNT is to win on Sunday, it will be that level of internal confidence that goes a long way, and Klinsmann deserves a lot of credit for instilling that belief from within.