Cristiano Ronaldo requires ice for knee; teammate says he's fit
CAMPINAS, Brazil (AP) - Cristiano Ronaldo needed an ice pack for his troublesome left knee during a training session on Wednesday, as Portugal prepared for its World Cup match against the United States.
Though his knee had been bandaged in previous training sessions, Ronaldo started without one Wednesday. After some light work with the rest of the first team, followed by some stretching, the world player of the year had the knee ice-packed.
He then waved and distributed some T-shirts to a crowd of some 3,000 before leaving with the rest of the squad.
Ronaldo was doubtful to play before Portugal's opening 4-0 defeat by Germany, but said before the game he was ''100 percent fit." Portugal plays the U.S. on Sunday in Manaus.
Backup Portugal goalkeeper Beto said the Real Madrid star would be ready for the showdown with the United States on Sunday in the Amazon rainforest capital of Manaus.
''Cristiano is 100 percent fit to play. Every match, if he starts to play, it is because he is fit to play, he's ready to play,'' Beto insisted. ''He loves football but his body is the most important thing for him ... so if he starts a match he is ready, he is fit, so I don't think that is a problem.''
Ronaldo has been hampered by tendinitis and a muscle injury since before the tournament, creating plenty of speculation about how he would perform in Brazil. Beto said the 29-year-old Real Madrid forward was ''sick of reading things about him that are not true.''
The rout against Germany means Portugal badly needs a victory over a United States team that made a winning start to the tournament, beating Ghana 2-1. Beto said Portugal's players were confident of taking all three points in Manaus.
''The best version of Portugal can beat United States,'' he said. ''We respect the United States of America. It is a very good team. They grew up the last years and so we got to respect them. But we believe in ourselves.''