Russia defender Viktor Vasin says it is difficult to compare Cristiano Ronaldo with Javier Hernandez as he prepares to halt the Mexico striker on Saturday.
Ronaldo and Hernandez have each scored once in their two Confederations Cup matches so far, with the Real Madrid star heading in Portugal’s winner against Russia and Bayer Leverkusen striker Hernandez netting in a 2-2 draw with the European champions.
Vasin found it a challenge against Ronaldo on matchday two but he believes that the 32-year-old’s scoring statistics and Ballon d’Or victories place him in a different class to the Mexican marksman.
“I’ve only seen Javier Hernandez on TV,” he told a news conference. “Comparing him to Ronaldo, you’d need to compare their stats, how many golden balls and golden boots he has and Ronaldo has. I don’t think I have anything interesting to say in this respect.”
Russia made it to the semi-finals of Euro 2008 but that remains the only time they have progressed beyond the group stage at a major tournament since 1988.
There remains a level of uncertainty among fans and the media as to whether the current team has the potential to change this pattern, with Mexico knowing that a point at Kazan Arena would be enough to send them through at Russia’s expense.
Vasin, however, is determined to stay upbeat.
Asked about what a defeat would mean, the CSKA Moscow man said: “I don’t even think about it. Whatever the result is, we’ll think about it then. For now, we’re thinking about the game.
“All trends in tournaments have to change some time.”