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Thursday, 08 May 2014 17:00

Injury scares to Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe

Paulo Bento praying for end of the season

ronaldo-20130305.jpgIt is little over a week until Paulo Bento announces Portugal’s World Cup squad. The injury scare to captain Cristiano Ronaldo yesterday exemplifies what a tortuous final few days of the season it will be for the Seleção coach.
 
 
After reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2012 Portugal have legitimate aspirations of a deep run in this summer’s World Cup, and will tempt many punters to back them after checking the 2014 FIFA betting odds. However, nobody doubts the imperative importance of having their key men fully fit and firing on all cylinders.
 
As such, the nation collectively held its breath last night as news filtered through that captain Cristiano Ronaldo had left the pitch through injury in the opening stages of Real Madrid’s match against Valladolid. Thankfully, the diagnosis is nothing more serious than muscle fatigue.
 
Ronaldo was back in training today and the Spanish club have explained that the 2013 World Player of the Year has only a minor injury. “Ronaldo was substituted as a precautionary measure,” said Real Madrid’s football director Miguel Pardeza. The Merengues have firmly prioritised winning the elusive La Décima – a tenth European Cup/Champions League title. Real Madrid play city rivals Atletico in the Lisbon final on 24 May.
 
Nevertheless, Ronaldo’s evident frustration upon being forced off will be a worry for Bento. His phenomenal fitness levels means that Ronaldo looking on from the sidelines is a sight rarely seen, despite the rough treatment handed out to him on a weekly basis.
 

Ominous precedents

How badly would Portugal’s chances in Brazil be hit if Ronaldo was less than fit? Very badly, judging by past experience. Portugal arrived at the 2002 World Cup with high hopes of going far, but fitness issues surrounding star man Luís Figo, coincidentally the reigning World Player of the Year and a Real Madrid player at the time, was cited as one of the main reasons for an abject performance and elimination in the group phase.
 
At Euro 2008, Ronaldo played through the pain barrier for his country, but it was patently obvious he was not at 100% of his capacities. At the end of the tournament it emerged he had been carrying a foot injury that required surgery, forcing him out of the start of the following season at Manchester United.
 
Portugal have now qualified for eight consecutive major tournaments, and the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2008 were undoubtedly Portugal’s two poorest showings in that time.
 
Ronaldo was not the only one of Real Madrid’s Portugal players who picked up a knock yesterday. Centre-back Pepe, who has returned to his very best this season, was also hurt near the end of the Valladolid match, but remained on the pitch as coach Carlo Ancelotti had used up all his substitutes.
 
Pardeza was at pains to assuage fears of Real Madrid and Portugal fans, however. “Pepe has a very swollen calf muscle. We’ll wait and see how the injuries evolve, but neither of them seems serious.”


Comments (25)
RE: All this talk about me being German
25 Monday, 19 May 2014 10:11
Dan DaSilva/ United States
I wish.
ThisIsNotTheGoldenGeneration
24 Sunday, 18 May 2014 22:38
ThisIsNotTheGoldenGeneration
So much threat of violence on this website due to differing opinions. Wow...

You miss the point of my original post. I meant I am tired of Portugal being called a one man show.

We need to look at Spain's recipe and follow it with no exception. When Spain had a team of prima donna's they won nothing and were constantly called under achievers. When they decided to use a system that would use everyone's talent as a team, playing possession attacking football, they won everything.

Sorry if I offended all of the people on here that have a guy crush on Ronaldo. Esubio and I have the same opinion of Ronaldo, god rest his soul, you can throw Figo and Mourhino in there as well - the guy is a selfish prima donna who can give a rats ass about Portugal. All he cares is about his stats... :-)
ola
23 Saturday, 17 May 2014 12:34
pedro goa de portugal
i think ronaldo should be given a chance to play as a striker along with eder i think we dont have any good strikers besides them
do we ???? they could get good crosses n supplies from ricardo quaresma (once a magical who was campared to ronaldo once hailed once Portuguese future once ) nani if he plays good (destroyed by manutd) i think they still have potential in them we cant forget the master passer moutinho!!
William Carvalho is good too but lack experience that can cost us ! Miguel Veloso, Raul Meireles are other two good ones Varela and Vieirinha can also be strong sometimes
defense we have a good one Bruno Alves ), Fabio Coentrao, Joao Pereira , , Pepe
Portugal launches investigation of Scolari -- huh?
22 Wednesday, 14 May 2014 21:46
Matthew
Is anyone else embarrassed that Portugal has launched a criminal investigation of Scolari (for alleged tax evasion) on the eve of the World Cup?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/15/sports/soccer/brazils-soccer-coach-is-target-of-inquiry-in-portugal.html?_r=0

I mean, come on. Really? It's been how many years since Scolari worked in Portugal, and this couldn't wait until after the World Cup to announce?

Not cool.
Re : Dan "Muller" AKA: Allstar Wrestler
21 Monday, 12 May 2014 23:14
Paulo6
Dan Muller:
You have to calm down, either to many sagres, or been eating too many sardines.
Unfortunatley I will not be attending the Ireland game, therefore I can not challenge you to a "fight", I appolagize for that, I appreciate the offer though.

Once again Dan "Muller" I want to personally offer my kindest regards on a great call on you stating you guarantee Ronaldo will start.. Well done Sirrrrr.

To the others ; )
trolls
20 Monday, 12 May 2014 17:46
Voice of Reason / Canada
Had to laugh at Chris and Val - bravo!

Of course you guys know that Dan DaSilva/Muller is none other than...the alter ego of one of the biggest trolls on this site. Think about it...Dan knows all, Dan knows about injuries - because he was a high-level wrestler.

Dan WAS an elite level athlete - but didn't quite make it. But trust him, he knows everything...probably from training new up and comers.

Our favourite troll knows exactly what it is Portugal needs to do to win...that is, listen to him. He knows is all.

The easiest thing to do is to come on here and predict that Portugal won't win - only one team can win, so odds are in your favour if you say they won't win. You get to look like an internet smart guy (in addition to being in internet tough guy).

We can say all we want about:

Portugal punching above their weight,

Portugal not living up to potential (and breaking the hearts of some of our friends here - who experience heart ache when Portugal let them down)...or the always favourite

Portugal will never win - because my old man told me so.

The truth of the matter is that with Ronaldo and a few other players in top form, Portugal can beat anyone on any given day.

Will they? who knows...but I can say that I have never seen these guys quit or mail it in. They all play hard and leave it out on the field...regardless of what you internet warrior(s) and internet tough guy(s) think.

Now go sit on your porch and let it all play out. YA YOU!

ps...Supremo Gino has been quiet...don't you think Dan?
@ Chris/Canada
19 Monday, 12 May 2014 16:21
Val/Canada
I challenge you to a fight, or "streit" (so Dan can understand).

Come on tough guy!


I dont understand why people even bother watching or posting for that matter. If they are going to "not even make it out of the group" why bother watching? Sit at home, get the final scores, then come back here and post your "I TOLD YOU SO" stuff. Clearly you negativo's need some vitamin E, you are all doom and gloom. (see i can pretend i am a doctor as well, like the made up Ronaldo injury analysis below)

When exactly was the "golden generation" btw? Anyone know? I dont seem to remember Portugal winning much.....at best they were the silver generation for that 2nd place finish in Lisbon v the powerhouse Greeks, who got all of 1 shot on net.

Whole herd of trolls this year. Self hating trolls, fake doctor trolls, goldengeneration trolls! Makes me really miss the trolls from last year, at least they were funny.

Paulo6 - (claps with appreciation) i am buying you a bica and a pastel de nata for calling a spade a spade, well done buddy!!
Holding our breath
18 Monday, 12 May 2014 14:54
NJ/USA/SLB
The injury concerns just got more serious.
A bit troubling that theres no real diagnosis coming from Real, as to Cristiano's injury. Fatique, and...???
We will need Cristiano to be at full strength if we're looking to do anything at the WC. By anything, I mean advancing past the Group Stages. Our squad has too many questions, to overcome this type of injury blow.

Pepe has been excellent in big matches this season. He was always good for a stupid foul and card during those, but he's kept his head. He would also be a blow.

You would figure that both will play in the CL Final. They should both sit out the friendlies.
Let's hope that this will be a lot about nothing.
Quaresma
17 Monday, 12 May 2014 14:28
DP/USA
Quaresma is, for lack of another word, a cancer. Everywhere he goes, his teams either regect him or when he does play, their team record diminishes. Please look up how many loses Porto had prior to his signing and how many loses after. He is a player with great talent but is very selfish and his attitude is unpredictable. Cant risk him going to brazil and ruining team unity or picking up stupid yellow or red cards. Leave him in Porto where he is excepted..........the only place he is excepted.
Hilarious reaction to "tough guy"
16 Monday, 12 May 2014 11:51
Chris Canada
A classic troll-baiting move by Paulo6 in using "tough guy", works perfectly against the self-hating Portuguese Dan da Silva, or shall we call him Dan Muller since he wants to be German.

It's hilarious how a term like tough guy can make someone so defensive and instantly want to fight. Lol.

Good work Paulo6.
quaresma
15 Monday, 12 May 2014 03:27
naren
Ricardo quaresma deserves to play. Look at how he is playing for porto. where was he one year back. look at him now. he is the ronaldo that never was...if only he had worked as hard as ronaldo, portugoal would defintiely have won an international cup by now..euro 2012 was so close.... this is his last chance. I hope he gets a chance. Also there arent many other wingers playing at his level right now..nani,varela..not as goood....who doesnt want to watch trivelas, rabonas in brazil!! really looking forward to the announcement of the portugal squads!!
So sad
14 Monday, 12 May 2014 00:49
Robbie/Canada
Thisisnotthegoldengeneration, you are such a sad little man. I feel for you, it must be hard to live life as such a miserable weirdo.

Dan DaSilva, you are not a doctor, leave it to the professionals.

Portugal will be fine, we have been consistent for 14 years and it seems like we will continue to be a good team for many years.
@ Paulo6
13 Sunday, 11 May 2014 23:02
Dan DaSilva/ United States
This doesn't really change the fact that Ronaldo is not one-hundred percent, which will only hamper him until he gets rest! EXTENDED REST!

I'm not even going to mention Pepe's grade one calf tear.

As for Paulo6 'the Keyboard Warrior' calling me a tool, guess what? I'll be at the Ireland game on the 10th, I would love you to call me a tool to my face tough guy.
"Golden Generation"
12 Sunday, 11 May 2014 20:34
LHE
It never fails that DEFEATIST portuguese mentality always rears its ugly head right before tournament time. LOL Unbelievable as these will be the same people pounding their chests the hardest and hanging the car flags out windows after big wins. Remind me again what the "Golden Generation" ever achieved?
RE: Dan Dasilva
11 Sunday, 11 May 2014 18:02
Paulo6
Hey Dan.. Great call on Ronaldo starting today...
Negative comments
10 Sunday, 11 May 2014 12:36
Deco South Africa
What is up with most of your negative comments. With all due respect keep them to yourself our National team needs our support not this Rubbish some guys are posting.

Have faith people..

Forca Portugal!!
WOW...
9 Sunday, 11 May 2014 12:07
Ricardo (South Africa)
...so much negativity, especially from ThisIsNotTheGoldenGeneration and DandaSilva. You guys really have absolutely no positivity in your systems. Pathetic!

How about some faith? ThisIsNotTheGoldenGeneration, clearly you've not been watching Portugal play the last few tournaments? You're one of those people that nothing is ever good enough for. Dan, I also think that Real Madrid have slightly better medical professionals available and know more than you or I. So let's leave the medical advice up to the professionals.

We don't need any more doomsday prophets, naysayers or negativity. How about you all get behind the team, put on your shirts and scarves and start supporting our guys!

Portugal Allez!

Forward Portugal!!
Who really cares
8 Sunday, 11 May 2014 03:38
ThisIsNotTheGoldenGeneration
If Portugal's hopes of winning the world cup hinges on Ronaldo playing or not, we aren't going to win anyway. It is extremely easy to shutdown 1 player, even if he is Ronaldo. Germany proved that in the last Euros.

I can't wait until Ronaldo retires and maybe then we will have another Figo or Rui Costa.I never once saw those two acting like a spoiled baby on the pitch. True professionals with their heads screwed on tight.

When Ronaldo is on the pitch the rest of the team look like they are sleep walking. All they do is look for Ronaldo, never taking their own chances to score. I guess they are afraid that the spoiled baby will yell at them.

I am portuguese and I am telling you Portugal will not make it out of the group. They will be lucky to win one game...if even that.

In order for Portugal to win anything, they need to go back to the possession game and stop relying on one person. Hopefully after Ronaldo there will be a new golden generation of players who play for their country and not for their own egos. If they want the formula to win, all they need to do is look east of the border. There is no Ronaldo on that team - and I say they have had a pretty good run playing the possession game, as well as playing for their country. Even if he country is technically made up of 5 different countries.

Again, who cares if Ronaldo is going to play or not. There are still 10 other players who will play - plus a replacement. Hopefully Nani won't play either.
RE: Ancelotti is going to play him tomorrow.
7 Saturday, 10 May 2014 21:06
Dan DaSilva/ United States
Mark my words, tomorrow he is going to get seriously hurt:

(A) His knee is banged up due to overuse (this happened to me at the end of each one of my D-I college wrestling seasons)

(B) His hamstring is tight, not just the muscle, but the connecting tendons

(C) The team doctors probably gave him cortisone, which will only weaken the tendons around his knee, if it is administered as a single shot...any additional doses, administered orally or intravenously has the potential to cause structural damage to his bones and cartilage.

Conclusion: Cortisone and over-fatigue can only lead to bad news. Trust me on this, this is something I know a thing or two about. Not to mention, his lack of healing is partially due to the burnout of his adrenal glands (those do not recover through shots or therapy). So not only does this pose a problem in the short run, but it poses a problem long-term. The only remedy of course being rest. If you think of this situation as a pendulum swinging on its axis from one extreme to another. He is probably more than halfway up the negative side and climbing to certain disaster. Now if he does not destroy his life tomorrow and Portugal's chances at World Cup glory, do not think that everything is alright. In truth, the only way to recover from chronic inflammation such as our dear Ronaldo is through an equal amount of rest (sleep, eat, hydrate). Unfortunately, he has been in such a state over the last year that, that would mean a full years' worth of rest.
CR7
6 Saturday, 10 May 2014 09:26
Andre/UK
It's no surprise that playing virtually every minute for Madrid this season is finally starting to catch up on him. He's a great player, but he ain't super-human. In fact Real have hardly rotated/rested any of their main players this season which is why they are looking tired at just the wrong time. If Madrid are smart they will rest CR7 for their last 2 Liga games (the title's surely gone for them) and keep him fresh for the CL final, this of course would hugely benefit the Selecao as well.

Ronaldo has to be in full-fitness for us to have a successful WC. We are not a one-man team by any means, and it's good to learn not to be dependant on him, but with the strikers we have in the team, we need him to be fireing on all cylinders. I actually agree with Justin above, this is a good reason to bring Quaresma to Brasil. He ain't anywhere near CR7 as a player of course, but he does offer something similar, technique and the ability to take on defenders. If Ronaldo has to be rested at the WC late in matches, then Quaresma would be a good option to bring off the bench. Let's just hope though that Madrid are smart (for their own sake and for the Selecao's) and only play Ronaldo one more time this season, in Lisboa!
Pre-World Cup friendlies: double-edged sword
5 Friday, 09 May 2014 15:54
Matthew
For my own selfish reasons, I'm hoping to see most of the starting lineup play in the friendly against Ireland -- because I'm going to the game! It will be the last friendly before Brasil, so on the one hand it's the last opportunity for them to play together against real opposition before the World Cup starts.

On the other hand . . . I wouldn't be surprised if many of the anticipated starters (maybe even Ronaldo) sit out the Ireland match. It's been a long club season for many, and there is an injury risk to playing any game before the World Cup. Also, I think Bento should use the opportunity of a friendly to mix things up and give some of the subs some real playing time -- e.g., if Quaresma makes the team, I'd like to see him play against Ireland.

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed like everyone else!
Injuries
4 Friday, 09 May 2014 14:35
Ivo/Canada
The only games I want Ronaldo to play in between now and the world cup are the UCL final and MAYBE a small part of in one the friendlies (and only if he's 100% fit to play). If he's even a bit sore, he should not play for one second.

As for Pepe, I just don't think he should play at all unless he's somehow 100% fit. No Ronaldo means no chance and probably a group stage knock out. I'm cringing at the thought of a starting 11 that includes guys like Quaresma, Nani(?), Moutinho, Postiga, Veloso and Meirelles as our attacking options - zero goals. Anyway, thankfully the injuries don't seem too serious and there is still some time for them to recover properly.
Nigeria
3 Friday, 09 May 2014 09:22
Elow
Ronaldo is definitely d go to guy in d Portugal team as he is in Madrid bt I think its 2 judgemental 2 cartegorically state dat d team is dead without him. We never can tell what jewels can be made from relative inexperienced deputants given d oppurtunity. Remember Pele, Toto Squillaci, Ronaldinho et al who were unknown qualities b4 taking d world by storm on d grandest stage
another reason for quaresma
2 Thursday, 08 May 2014 20:31
Justin/rochester
Just another reason to bring quaresma to brazil is if ronaldo can't play. It is laughable for anyone to think that any other player on this team is capable of creating something other than ronaldo. Perhaps you guys don't watch the game and just look at the statistics. If you can honestly tell yourself that a team that lines up without ronaldo will create or attack you are crazy. Wingers like caveleiro, varela and whoever else are just looking to cross the ball. If they have nobody to cross to as in the case of ronaldo not being there they dont have the experience or the mental fortitude to do anything themselves. Anyways if ronaldo doesnt play the team is in more trouble than any other team in the world. Any other team could afford to lose their best player but portugal cant.

Seriously think about every team right now in the world that has a chance to contend for a title and take their best player away. That country would more or less be fine without that player. Portugal has very little chance its the hard truth.
God forbid...
1 Thursday, 08 May 2014 18:11
Orlando Mac
But I personally think we have a wily bunch and bar 3 or 4 major injuries.. I believe.. in the group of death.. with all the pressure off.. and some opportunities handed out.. that they would shock.

At the moment they rely on CR too much.. and without him or another major piece I think they would all up their levels.. and we would get some positive results. Many would shock the world.

But I will be crossing my fingers all the way to Brazil... I wouldn't even play CR in the friendlies.. he needs a break with all the games he has had (will have).. I would give him a run out in the last friendly or as a late sub in each just to get his timing.. but that is just me.

Our best chances to win rest significantly on him.

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