Football

Ronaldo will play through the pain for Portugal

Knee injury could be serious, but Portugal star ready to answer his nation's call against the US

Fears have been raised over Cristiano Ronaldo's continued participation at the World Cup after ongoing treatment for a knee injury.

The Real Madrid man has been plagued with a troublesome knee problem in recent weeks and latest reports out of Brazil claim the superstar left Portugal's training early on Wednesday, with some suggesting that doctors had told Ronaldo that his career could be at risk should he attempt to play through the pain.

After a 4-0 hammering by Germany in their opening Group G encounter, Portugal face a desperate fight to make the knockout stage of the tournament and face a huge clash against the US on Monday morning (Singapore time).

According to El Confidencial, Dr Jose Carlos Noronha advised Ronaldo to rest his knee for around two months after an MRI scan showed significant pressure on his tendon, risking a tear that could end his career.

However, a conflicting report from Portuguese newspaper Record says that Noronha categorically denies telling Ronaldo not to play.

The forward is ready to play through the pain barrier regardless, and may have painkilling injections for the crucial game.

He reportedly told the Portuguese medical team: "I'm the one that says whether I'm playing or not."

Talisman Ronaldo was pictured with heavy strapping and an ice pack on his left knee having been under close observation by their medical team.

Portugal's captain was confirmed as suffering from tendinitis in the build-up to the World Cup but didn't show any sign of the injury in the first match.

ROCK STAR

Ronaldo was feted like a rock star on Wednesday when thousands of fans turned up to watch Portugal train at the Estadio Moises Lucarelli in Campinas.

Music blared from loudspeakers and a helicopter whirred overhead as thousands of fans decked out in Brazil and Portugal shirts waited his arrival.

He eventually emerged from a tunnel onto the pitch with the rest of the squad about 20 minutes late, wearing orange boots and a grey and green training top, sending excitement to fever pitch.

As he jogged around the stadium, hordes of teenage girls screamed his name and fans pressed their faces against the wire fence to get a closer look at their hero.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento confirmed his star man was doing well physically after the Germany game and his predecessor, Carlos Queiroz - now the coach of Iran - says the 29-year-old needs to perform if the his side are going to advance.

"The story of the world's great teams is always made by great players and stars. By this I mean that Portugal cannot think of having success with the Cristiano Ronaldo of the 2010 World Cup," he told Publico.

"For Portugal to get far in Brazil, we need the best version of Ronaldo. Only he can make the difference, but if he plays like in South Africa we will have less chance.

"I hope this injury does not affect his performance."

Teammate Miguel Veloso is confident his skipper will lead them out against Juergen Klinsmann's side.

"I'm not a doctor but from what I see, Cristiano Ronaldo is fine," Veloso.

"He is training, he is jumping and he is shooting. There is not much else to say." - Wire Services.


I’m not a doctor but from what I see, Cristiano Ronaldo is fine. He is training, he is jumping and he is shooting. There is not much else to say.

— Portugal midfielder Miguel Veloso

World Cup