Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels has devised a secret plan to keep Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo quiet in their Champions League semi-final.
The two sides will contest the first leg in Munich on Wednesday night and, talking ahead of the match, Hummels spoke of his admiration for Ronaldo.
But the Bayern centre back also claimed that he has studied Ronaldo and gained some knowledge that could give his side an edge.
Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Mats Hummels in action during the Champions League last April
The two men will clash again on Wednesday and Hummels says he has a plan to stop Ronaldo
Hummels told Bild: ‘I watch many games of the big teams and take a general interest in international soccer. You notice a few things there. With Ronaldo, I think I’ve identified a few patterns; there are certain striking things. I will try to utilise this knowledge to my advantage. But I won’t disclose it publicly.’
Real’s main man has scored 15 goals in 10 Champions League games this season and Hummels added: ‘In recent years Ronaldo has changed his playing style.
‘He is not as dominant as he was in earlier days, but rather utterly focused on finishing and goals. In this regard, he is the best striker in the world, because he can score in any way, any second of the game.’
Hummels urged his team-mates to starved Ronaldo of service from wide areas. He explained: ‘Real Madrid’s full backs deliver outstanding crosses: Marcelo, Daniel Carvajal, and also the central midfielders
‘Toni Kroos or Loka Modric on set-pieces. You have to prevent these inside passes. That makes it so hard to defend Ronaldo. He doesn’t shoot after eight touches, but rather on the first one or two at the latest.’
Ronaldo has hit 15 goals in his first 10 Champions League games for Real Madrid this season