World Cup pre-game: Germany vs. Portugal
Group of Death opens with a bang
Group G: Germany vs. Portugal
- June 16 12 p.m. ET
- CBC TV, streaming online at cbc.ca/fifaworldcup
What's at stake
Group G dominance will be up for grabs from the get-go. Germany is favoured to win the group. But anything can happen with CristianoRonaldo stepping on the pitch for Portugal.
National pride will also be on the line for two European footballing giants. Germany has won nine of the 19 head-to-head matches between these two countries. Portugal was won three. They’d love to notch up a fourth victory against Germany.
- Germany: Thomas Muller. This top-notch midfielder was literally perfect in 2010, scoring five goals in five shots, and winning the Golden Boot.
- Portugal: Ronaldo. FIFA’s Player of the Year scored a hat trick against Sweden to put his country through to Brazil. Words cannot describe his importance to Portugal, assuming he plays at top fitness.
What to watch for
Scoring and speed. These two teams are full of players with both. And we can expect to see plenty of quick offensive moves throughout this match.
Defence will be the key in keeping the sharp-shooters off the scoring list.
They said it
- “Wherever we go, I think opponents are reluctant to play us because we are very strong.” —German midfielder MesutOzil, speaking recently to goal.com.
- "It's going to be a balanced group with four strong teams so it's going to be very difficult for us. But we will fight to the end to achieve our first goal, which is to reach the knockout phase.” —Portugal manager PauloBento, speaking to FIFA.com.
The Big Number
100 — This will be Germany’s 100th World Cup match, the first country to reach this milestone in the final tournament. The Germans have posted 60 wins, 19 draws and 20 defeats.
Obligatory Fun Fact
Ronaldo has almost 27 million followers on Twitter, more than any other footballer on earth. So if he were a country, the number of Ronaldo “citizens” would rank 46th in the world in terms of population, just behind Group G opponent Ghana.