Klinsmann: We'll think of ways to make Manaus really miserable for Ronaldo
Sao Paolo FC Training Facility, Barra Funda, June 11
Jurgen Klinsmann faced the media for the first time in Sao Paolo on Wednesday morning. A crowd of about 100 journalists and photographers watched as he answered questions from media mostly from USA, Brazil and Germany.
He spoke of his familiarity of the surroundings, his side having used the Sao Paolo FC training facilities on a winter acclimation visit.
That part of the acclimation process already having been accelerated, he was looking forward to the real deal:
"The team is just eager to get things started. We are just proud to be part of it."
Obviously, despite Portugal's 5-1 hammering of a hapless Irish Republic side, most of the assembled media's focus was on the USA's first opponent Ghana.
"We respect every opponent, every player that we face. We know about their strengths and we know about their weaknesses," KIlnsmann said, while adding "We feel very confident to go into this game."
The World Cup opens on Thursday but for the USA, there will be no rest.
They have organized a closed door training match against the Belgians. Given the spate of late injuries, a reporter asked if this would represent a possible danger to American players.
Stressing that he had a good relationship with the Belgian head coach Marc Wilmots, Klinsman put minds to rest:
"For us it's a training scrimmage and training scrimmages are never as intense."
Klilnsmann also spoke of the USA's first two opponents and how much the last two defeats against Ghana registered. For those who were with him in 2006, there were apparently very fresh memories.
"They have certain players who can hurt you in a split second. They guys where were in South Africa feel that they have to correct something."
His second opponent Portugal finished their preparation with a 5-1 win over a hapless Republic of Ireland side, albeit with star player Cristiano Ronaldo well beneath his best.
Klinsmann was quick to praise the Portuguese.
"We all watched the Portugal game. It was an impressive performance. When you put 5 in the net, it looks beautiful. Our job is to stop him (Ronaldo) in beautiful Manaus. We'll think of ways to make it really miserable for him."
Todays' training session was open to the public, a FIFA mandated requirement. About 400 locals attended but although that created a relaxed atmosphere, the training was anything but.
Klinsmann's voice was notably more raised than yesterday as he tried to ensure the side peaked for the opening match.