Uruguay will be “stopping 50% of Portugal” if they contain Cristiano Ronaldo in Saturday’s last-16 World Cup tie, says former striker Diego Forlan.
Skipper Ronaldo has netted four times in Russia, including a hat-trick in his side’s opening game against Spain.
Uruguay are the only team in the competition yet to concede a goal after their three group games.
“Ronaldo is a leader, the way he scores the goals and how important they are,” Forlan told BBC Radio 5 live.
Real Madrid forward Ronaldo netted a brilliant last-minute free-kick to claim a point against Spain and also scored the winner in the game against Morocco.
He failed to find the net in the draw against Iran as his side finished second in Group B.
It set up a knockout stage meeting with two-time champions Uruguay, who topped Group A with maximum points ahead of hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
“We are a very defensive team and have very good defenders,” said Forlan, who scored 36 goals in 112 caps for Uruguay.
“Ronaldo is a great player but I am confident with our defence and how the team are doing.
“I am not worried defensively but we have to be careful, we have to be concentrated than other games. We respect everybody, it is not like we change because it is Portugal.”
Is Ronaldo targeting golden boot?
Forlan played with Ronaldo at Manchester United between 2003 and 2005 and acted as translator for the Portuguese when he joined from Sporting Lisbon.
Although he struggled to find his best form at Old Trafford, Forlan went on to play for Villarreal, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan.
At the 2010 World Cup, he scored five goals as Uruguay finished fourth and claimed the golden ball award for the best player in the competition.
Asked if Ronaldo would be targeting the golden boot awarded given to the top scorer, Forlan said: “Ronaldo’s way of living is that he likes challenges. He has achieved so many things so maybe it is OK for him to be like that.
“We have seen a different Ronaldo, he is more of a team player, he finishes and scores but others in the team do too. You do not see him shooting from all angles to get goals, this is why he is one of the best players in the world.
“He knows that if he does not play well and the other team-mates don’t score, he will be out of the competition.”