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Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK

Ronaldo ready for Turkey

Brazil v Turkey semi-final | Saitama
Wed Jun 26 2002 | 1230 BST
Live on BBC1 & Radio Five Live

By Phil McNulty
BBC Sport Online's man in Japan

Ronaldo has been passed fit to play for Brazil against Turkey in the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.

Ronaldo took part in a full-scale practice match as he continues his recovery from a thigh strain.

Brazil received a further boost with the news that goalkeeper Marcos will also start the game.

Marcos has recovered from an ankle knock he picked up in training on Monday and will play in Saitama.

" We are in the condition to win "
Brazil playmaker Rivaldo

"It was not an injury it was just muscular fatigue," Brazil team doctor Jose Luis Runco said of Ronaldo.

"He rested, he followed the treatment he was instructed to do.

"There's no problem anymore and he's allowed to play."

Coach Felipe Scolari put the entire Brazil squad through their paces in full view of the world's media.

Juninho was in the shadow side, suggesting Edilson may edge him out in the battle to replaced suspended Ronaldinho.

And Brazil's superstars are primed for battle against a Turkish side determined to exact revenge for their controversial 2-1 defeat in the group stages.

Rivaldo admitted the pressure was on Brazil, not only as favourites but also because of the massive weight of expectation at home.

He said: "I would say the odds on the game are 50-50, but I believe the first goal will be vital because Turkey would then have to attack us.

"We respect Turkey, but Brazilian tradition demands that we are favourites.

"We have a big responsibility, as does every team the represents Brazil, but we are ready to handle it. We are in the condition to win.

"Our feet are on the ground. We may be favourites, but we know the game will be even more difficult than the first game against Turkey and being favourites means nothing, as we have seen in the World Cup so far."

Defender Roberto Carlos added: "We know Turkey have done very well and they have dangerous players such as Hasan Sas and Basturk.

"But we are going to concentrate on our own game rather than two members of the opposition.

"I think that if we get as many chances as we did in the first game we will be in a good position to reach the final.

"As a team we are very tranquil, very happy."


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