Portugal, considered among several of the favorites to win the 2014 World Cup, is going to have a tough time surviving the Group of Death without their star player.
On Thursday, soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo left Portugal’s practice session with a noticeable limp and an ice pack on his knee. He is considered doubtful for the competition.
If he can’t finish a practice session, how can Ronaldo be an effective part of the Portugal squad for a full game?
If Portugal can’t get Ronaldo back to working order before they begin their World Cup run against Germany on Monday, June 16, it would spell disaster. While they certainly boast a strong lineup, the absence of Ronaldo will keep them from asserting themselves as true contenders. With upcoming games against the Germans, the USMNT and an underrated Ghana team, they’ll need all of the help they can get.
Without Ronaldo, Portugal doesn’t have the firepower to push through to the Final and could be in trouble in the Group stages. They were already underdogs against a strong Germany side and the game against the United States becomes much more interesting without the second best player in the world. Advancement to the knockout stages was never a guarantee, but the country expecting to make serious noise will now be collectively holding their breath awaiting news of the injury.
This is par for the course with Ronaldo, who hasn’t seen much success when it comes to world competition. If he lets his country down again, it would surely be an asterisk to an otherwise stellar club career.
For Portugal’s sake, let’s hope that Ronaldo’s departure from practice was a precautionary move, and nothing more.