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Jacobsen prepared for Portugal assignment

Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012, 10.12CET
Right-back Lars Jacobsen spoke to UEFA.com about Denmark's Group B fixture against a Portugal team that is "stronger than we are" and the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo.
by Thomas Mark
from Kolobrzeg
Jacobsen prepared for Portugal assignment
Lars Jacobsen (right) tries to block a shot against the Netherlands ©Getty Images
 
Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012, 10.12CET

Jacobsen prepared for Portugal assignment

Right-back Lars Jacobsen spoke to UEFA.com about Denmark's Group B fixture against a Portugal team that is "stronger than we are" and the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Denmark right-back Lars Jacobsen had no problem pinpointing Portugal's danger man as Morten Olsen's side aim to build on their unexpected win against the Netherlands – but beyond paying the usual attention to Cristiano Ronaldo, there will be no special plans for the Portugal captain. Although Paulo Bento's team drew a blank against Germany in their Group B opener, Jacobsen is aware Denmark must keep Ronaldo and company in check in Lviv to have the best chance of another memorable result.

UEFA.com: What can you do as a team to try and stop Cristiano Ronaldo?

Lars Jacobsen: You can try to get as tight to him as possible. When he gets on the ball and is ready to take you on, it's important your team-mates are ready to back you up. Otherwise you often see that he beats his man and kills the match. We really don't want him doing that.

UEFA.com: Is it about having one man on him all the time, or a couple that stick close to him?

Jacobsen: We don't man-mark in this team. When he is in your zone you pick him up, but if you are on his heels all the time there is also a chance he will get in behind you. That is something you have to consider, but of course it is an advantage to be as tight to him as possible, so he doesn't get the chance to turn and run.

UEFA.com: You had a great win against the Netherlands. How much can you compare them and Portugal?

Jacobsen: A fair bit, I would say. They like to get the ball wide down both wings, as the Netherlands also wanted to, and the wide men are often crucial to the outcome of their matches. Both teams want to play football. We saw against Germany that Portugal often sat back and were maybe trying to win the ball back and counterattack, which they definitely have the players for. So yes, they can be quite similar to the Dutch, although the Netherlands are keener on bossing possession.

UEFA.com: You have had great success against Portugal. In the five games you personally have played against them, you have won three, drawn one and lost one. Are Portugal good opponents for Denmark?

Jacobsen: It might appear that way. We have played well against them but we have had a bit of luck, especially when we won 3-2 in Portugal. Last time we played them we did really well and fully deserved to win [2-1 in October 2011] at Parken. It is, of course, always nice to go into the match knowing that the last time we played them we were better than them. Now we are playing on neutral ground in Ukraine and that changes things. Many of their players have had a really good season and it's going to be a hard game, no doubt.

UEFA.com: Are Denmark favourites? After all, you are higher than them in the world rankings.

Jacobsen: No. If we are objective and look at the Portuguese players, then we must say that most of them are a class above ours. What makes us strong is our teamwork and that we are a good unit. But individually Portugal are way stronger than we are. They've got stars in most positions, whereas I play for FC København and [Michael] Krohn-Dehli and [Dennis] Rommedahl play out in Brøndby and we've got a couple from Nordsjælland. About half their team play for Real Madrid, so that pretty much explains the difference.

Last updated: 20/06/12 4.24CET

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