Cristiano Ronaldo faces a late fitness test ahead of South Korea clash despite returning to training… with the Portugal star ’50-50′ to play in their final World Cup group stage match
Cristiano Ronaldo could miss Portugal’s final group game with the forward facing a late fitness test ahead of Friday’s clash with South Korea.
Head coach Fernando Santos said Ronaldo was a doubt ahead of Portugal’s training session on Thursday afternoon but insisted they have planned for his potential absence.
‘Let’s see (if he is fit). In principle, Ronaldo will train soon,’ Santos said. ‘I don’t even know if it’s 50/50. Cristiano was replaced in both games. There’s a plan in case he can’t play.’
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Portugal training ahead of their match with South Korea
The Portugal star was all smiles though he is ’50-50′ to feature in Portugal’s game on Friday
Ronaldo is one behind Portuguese icon Eusebio’s record of nine World Cup goals for the nation but the forward thought he had equalled that in the 2-0 win over Uruguay.
He celebrated the first goal of the night after believing he had headed Bruno Fernandes’ cross past Sergio Rochet.
But FIFA credited the goal to Fernandes and ‘highly accurate’ data taken from a sensor inside the ball later proved Ronaldo had made no contact.
Ronaldo has been absent from training amid speculation of a move to Saudi side Al Nassr
Portugal have already qualified for the last-16 with Ronaldo starting their opening two games
Santos was asked whether he or Ronaldo had made any request for the goal to be given to Ronaldo, given the striker’s obsession with records.
‘Me? Who am I going to ask? I don’t know anyone from FIFA, nor did the national team ask.
‘It was a goal for the team and that is all that is important.’
Portugal just need a point to top Group H but South Korea must win to have any chance of reaching the knockouts.
Adidas technology inside their Al Rihla ball shows that Ronaldo did not get a touch on the cross