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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Ronaldinho pleads for protection
Ronaldinho and Adriano
Ronaldinho gets close attention from Adriano during training
Brazil star Ronaldinho has asked referees to protect him and his team-mates at the World Cup.

The Barcelona superstar, 26, believes Brazil's opponents will attempt to stop them from playing their attractive style of football in Germany.

"All the teams are waiting for us and will be doubly alert in paying attention to our attack," said the World Player of the Year.

"It's vital the refereeing is rigorous because of our style of playing."

Ronaldinho added: "Every team we play regardless of their normal style of play defend against us.

"We are mindful that it is difficult to score goals in that case.

"The others play tight at the back and will wait to hit us on the counter-attack."

The defending champions, seeking to win their sixth World Cup, play Croatia in their opening match in Berlin on Tuesday.

They will also face Australia and Japan.

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