Ronaldo fit to play: Meireles
Posted on Jun 22 2014 | IANS
Manaus (Brazil), June 22 : Cristiano Ronaldo is fit to play for Portugal against the US at the World Cup Sunday despite an injured left knee.
"Cristiano played the last game against Germany. He trains every day and is fit to play. That' s all what I can say," Xinhua quoted Portugal midfielder Raul Meireles as saying in a press conference here Saturday.
Ronaldo has been carrying an injury to his left knee, and the world Player of The Year was seen using an ice pack on it during training Wednesday.
According to reports, the Real Madrid playmaker was even warned by Portugal' s physician that if he continues to play, he' s putting the rest of his career in jeopardy. However the 29-year-old joined in the training Friday as he took part in some light drills and appeared in good spirits.
Stating whether Ronaldo will play Sunday, the team' s coach Paulo Bento didn' t answer directly, but said "the team doesn' t want to hide anything." "It doesn' t make sense. The players know who will play."
The Portuguese lost 4-0 to Germany in their opening Group G match, with Ronaldo playing despite the injury.
The United States, however, is going in the other direction. After being knocked out of the last two World Cups by Ghana, the Americans beat the African team 2-1 in their opening match. They could even secure a spot in the second round after Germany tied 2-2 with Ghana Saturday.
"Portugal has to think of winning. If we draw with the United States, we have to pack our suitcase," admitted Bento.
"Players have to believe in themselves and we will continue our offensive play with emotion."
However, Portugal suffered on the fitness of several starting players.
Defender Fabio Coentrao, Ronaldo's teammate at Real Madrid, has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a muscle strain.
Pepe, another Real Madrid defender, is suspended. Bento said another defender Bruno Alves is also in doubt for the line-up.
We know that we are in a difficult period, but we still have 90 minutes ahead of us."