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.