Cristiano Ronaldo is willing to ignore the advice of the doctor who told him he risks ending his career by playing in the World Cup for Portugal in their key clash against the USA on Sunday.
Portugal stumbled to a heavy 4-0 defeat against Germany in their opening World Cup fixture, which means defeat against USA would all but end their tournament. In that game Ronaldo was a peripheral figure, partly because his team were down to 10 men following Pepe's sending off, but also because of the knee injury which has caused him problems for some time now.
Reports emerged this week claiming that his World Cup was over because he had been unable to shake off the problem, which has limited his ability to take a full part in training.
Indeed, the problem is said to be so bad that he was told by doctor Dr Jose Carlos Noronha that he would be putting his career in danger if he started on Sunday.
However, media in Spain say the Real Madrid superstar has resolved to play through the pain and may even have have pain-killing injections to get him through the ordeal.
Ronaldo takes charge
It is reported that Ronaldo told the Portuguese medical team: "I'm the one that says whether I'm playing or not."
Portuguese goalkeeper Beto has denied that will be the case and insists Ronaldo is 100% fit, despite the fact he's been pictured in a knee-brace in training.
"Ronaldo didn't leave training early," he told reporters. "He finished his training at the same time as the rest of the players," Beto said at a press conference.
"Cristiano is 100 percent fit to play. Every match he starts to play, it's because he's fit to play.
"He loves football but his body is the most important thing for him, to be fit, to be healthy so if he starts the match it's because he's ready, he's fit."
If Ronaldo were to sit out his country's remaining fixtures it would be a shame for the tournament as a whole, which has already lost some star names.
The likes of Franck Ribery and Marco Reus didn't make the tournament because of injury - but it would be foolish of Ronaldo to risk his long-term health in order to represent his country.
As he demonstrated last season with Real Madrid, he's at the peak of his powers, and the powers that be at the Bernabeu will certainly be concerned about the state of their star player.
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