Cristiano Ronaldo in pain but fit to start against Germany in Group G opener


Cristiano Ronaldo has declared himself fit to face Germany in Portugal’s Group G opener of the 2014 World Cup on Monday.

The Portuguese winger has been struggling with a left knee injury that, following reports of leaving training early on Friday with ice, had many believing he might miss Monday’s match.

On Sunday, however, he trained without issue albeit with a bandage on his knee. Afterwards, he told reporters, “I would be the first to tell the coach if I were unable to play, I would never put my career at risk even for a World Cup.” He then admitted that he was not at peak condition but was close: “I’d love to be 110 percent and but I am 100 percent and that is enough to help my team.”

He continued: “Obviously I wish I did not have any pain, but that is impossible,” Ronaldo said. “I don’t think there’s ever been a day without pain.”

The last three times Portugal has met Germany, it’s ended poorly for A Seleccao, losing 3-1 in the match for third place at the 2006 World Cup, 3-2 win at Euro 2008 and 1-0 in the opener at Euro 2012. Ronaldo, however, hopes the change in tide that occurred at club level this past season can be duplicated for country.

Obviously history has been positive for Germany. But Real has beaten Bayern Munich (in the Champions League semifinals) and maybe this will be the year to change the history and Monday would be the best day for it to happen. It’s a new tournament, new players, our team is good, we have confidence.

We must be humble. It’s a difficult start for us. We are playing one of the favorites and one of the best teams. I personally and the entire team is very motivated and we want to enjoy the tournament.

That’s right, folks, Cristiano Ronaldo is talking about being humble. Just another chapter what is fast becoming the craziest World Cup on record.

Portugal and Germany face off tomorrow at 12:00pm ET at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

How can Man United qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC

Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]

So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:

  • A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B

[ MORE: Champions League schedule

There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.

VIDEO: Can Leicester stun the world? Man United title favorites?

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The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?

With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.

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Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.

Men in Blazers podcast: The Leicester fairytale goes on

Men In Blazers - Sept. 22
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Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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Pellegrini updates status of Joe Hart’s hamstring injury

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.

Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).