They said it was unlikely that he would play, but Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo was not going to miss a chance to take the field against USMNT on the world’s biggest stage. In fact, it has already been confirmed that Ronaldo will indeed play in Sunday’s matchup against Team USA, which means the contest that already had a lot riding on it just got that much more interesting.
“Cristiano played the last game,” Portugal teammate Raul Meireles said, according to ESPN. “He trains every day with all of us. Cristiano is fit to play, that’s all I can say.”
Ronaldo has been dealing with knee and thigh problems for the past month. It was said that his chances of playing in any game in the 2014 World Cup were closer to zero percent than 100 percent. However, one of the greatest players in the world understands that his team desperately needs him, especially after Portugal lost 4-0 to Germany in the first game.
With Ghana and Germany’s match on Saturday ending in a draw, the doors have opened for USMNT to win Group G, also known as, the Group of Death. Even though USMNT’s overall chances of advancing to the next round went from 69 percent to 64 percent according to FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup predictions, there is no denying that a win over Portugal gives them the green light to win the group.
As far as Ronaldo is concerned, he is definitely someone USMNT is going to have to keep an eye on throughout the contest, regardless of his knee and thigh injuries. The reason for that is because he is a game changer who could create all sorts of problems for the U.S.
Personally, I am glad Ronaldo is playing. Of course I want USMNT to win the match, but to get to see a great player take the field against the U.S. for 90 minutes is going to be amazing.