Cristiano Ronaldo ruled out for Portugal's friendly vs. Mexico
Cristiano Ronaldo won't play against Mexico on Friday in Portugal's final friendly before departing for the World Cup.
The match is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and Portugal won't be risking central defender Pepe or midfielder Raul Meireles either, according to a statement put out Thursday by the Portuguese federation.
Ronaldo is said to be nursing knee tendinitis and a thigh injury in his left leg. His fitness is crucial to Portugal's chances at the World Cup, with the nation -- ranked fourth in the world in the most recent FIFA ranking -- up against Germany, Ghana and the United States in the tournament's Group of Death. The reigning FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, fresh off helping Real Madrid to a Champions League title, hopes to be available for June 16, when Portugal plays Germany in a vital World Cup encounter in Salvador, Brazil.
Portugal then faces the USA in Manaus on June 22 before concluding group play against Ghana on June 26 in Brasilia.