Cristiano Ronaldo is a major doubt to face the USA Men's National Team in Portugal's pivotal World Cup encounter on Sunday, but that hasn't stopped the US team from preparing to face the best player in the world.
USMNT midfielder Kyle Beckerman knows how important the Ballon d'Or winner is to Portugal's chances, and he says that him and his teammates still have their minds firmly on stopping Ronaldo.
When asked if they were still planning to stop Ronaldo despite his injury, Beckerman admitted, “Absolutely. We hear all that stuff, but I think we’re preparing that he’ll be playing.”
Despite the fact that the Real Madrid and Portuguese star has not been ruled out yet, US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann can still feel encouraged by the fact that he's not his normal self.
Portugal are left desperately needing to win the game Sunday, with their horrific 4-0 defeat to Germany leaving them three points behind the US and shouldering a shocking goal difference.
Even though Ronaldo is clearly Portugal's star, another US midfielder, Jermaine Jones, says his side know Portugal have plenty of other quality players that will be threatening Sunday night.
“We don’t make a big deal about Cristiano,” midfielder Jermaine Jones said. “I think we are trying to make it our own game and if he plays on the left side, he will play against Fabian. We have trust in Fabian that he can stop him.”
Will Ronaldo be fit for the crucial World Cup encounter?
Ronaldo is not just a doubt for the game against the USA, he's also a doubt for the rest of the World Cup itself.
Now at this moment this is all speculation, with many of the rumors coming for the social media platform Twitter.
What we do know is that the Portugal winger has been clearly playing through the pain for his country. He's been pictured on numerous occasions sporting ice on his left knee, and there have been some suggestions that if he continues playing in the World Cup he will threatened his career.
For now it seems he's not ruled yet and is trying to race against time to get fit for the game against the US on Sunday.
US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has already admitted his Ronaldo fears
Jurgen Klinsmann has already established that his US team are wary of the talents of Ronaldo, and he says an "angry" Cristiano could be even more threatening.
"Now they are going to come into Manaus pretty angry and I don't now how Ronaldo is going to perform when he is angry."
Ronaldo might not have lit up the US men's national team before, but he certainly destroyed the LA Galaxy with this thunderous strike below.
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