Cristiano Ronaldo could miss the start of the season

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Were it not for Cristiano Ronaldo's injury, the final of Euro 2016 would have been one of the least entertaining climaxes of a major tournament for many a year.

Ronaldo has been heavily criticised in the past for the ease at which he would go down from the slightest contact to earn his team a free kick but no one could doubt the amount of pain the 31-year-old was in after receiving the brunt of a crunching tackle from Dimitri Payet.

The West Ham ace saw a chance to steal possession from Ronaldo so steamed in at full tilt. Although Payet won the ball, his opponent immediately fell to the ground clutching his left knee.

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Despite receiving treatment, the Portugal captain was unable to continue and with tears streaming down his face, Ronaldo was stretchered off with less than half an hour on the clock.

The Real Madrid forward was able to urge his nation to their first European title from the sidelines but was still kicking every ball with his knee heavily strapped up.

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Since the grand celebrations that followed referee Mark Clattenburg's final whistle, the Portuguese medical team have had the to chance to scan Ronaldo's knee and provide an initial diagnosis.

According to Marca, it would appear Ronaldo has damaged his medial collateral ligament - an injury which is likely to mean he will miss the start of Real Madrid's season.

The recovery time for such damage is approximately four weeks so Zinedine Zidane is almost certain to be without his key forward for the entire pre-season.

Portugal v France - Final: UEFA Euro 2016

Madrid are set to face La Liga rivals and Europa League winners, Sevilla in the European Super Cup in Norway on August 9 and Ronaldo faces a race against time to be fit for the occasion.

It is unlikely Zidane would risk the 31-year-old in such a fixture anyway but the incredible work Ronaldo puts in on his fitness means we shouldn't rule out any possible return dates at this early stage.

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La Liga
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal National Football Team
Euro 2016

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