Football

Cristiano Ronaldo to miss World Cup warm-up fixture

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Real Madrid trio Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Coentrao and Pepe have linked up with Portugal's World Cup squad after being granted extra time off.

With Madrid playing in, and winning, the Champions League final last Saturday all three players were told they could join the squad's Obidos training camp later than the rest of the 23-man squad.

Portugal play their first warm up game against Greece on Saturday night but the fixture may come too soon for both Ronaldo and Pepe.

Reigning Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo played the full 120 minutes in last Saturday's final, and, according to the Boston Herald, won't be risked against the Greeks.

Portugal boss Paulo Bento wants his star man to be in perfect condition for their June 16th World Cup opener against Germany, and with Ronaldo having suffered from a thigh injury towards the end of the season Bento has decided to give him more time to recover.

Ronaldo's Real Madrid teammate Pepe was absent from the Champions League final due to a calf injury and will also sit out Saturday's fixture.

Coentrao may figure in Lisbon despite starting last Saturday's final. The 26-year-old left-back was replaced by Marcelo after an hour and, having been given a week off, should be fully fit.

After the Greece game Portugal will fly to the USA to continue their preparations for this summer's show piece event. Bento's side will play Mexico in Foxborough on June 6th before taking on the Republic of Ireland in New Jersey on June 10th.

After the third and final warm-up game, Portugal make their way to Brazil ready to face Germany in the opening game of Group G.

After taking on Joachim Low's side they'll face off against USA and Ghana in their remaining group fixtures, hoping to progress to the last 16 for the third consecutive World Cup.

Portugal have never lifted the World Cup despite possessing such talents as Luis Figo, Eusebio and Rui Costa.

They have reached the semi-final stage on two occasions, losing out to eventual winners England in 1966 and being beaten by France in 2006.

Last time round they were eliminated at the Round of 16 by Vicente del Bosque's Spain, who would go on to claim a first ever World Cup crown, but they'll be hoping to cause a surprise in Brazil.

Despite not being among the favourites to lift the famous trophy, any team that can boast the talents of a fully rested Cristiano Ronaldo must be taken seriously.

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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