Portugal to rest Ronaldo, Pepe in friendly vs. Greece

CristianoRonaldoPepePortugal1-Sweden (Getty)

By TATE STEINLAGE 

Real Madrid teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe will miss Portugal’s first tune-up match for the World Cup against Greece on Saturday after joining camp Thursday.

The team’s star winger and captain missed training Friday and has yet to leave the team hotel due to an on-going injury to his left thigh and knee. Portugal manager Paulo Bento said Ronaldo will travel with the team but will miss Saturday’s friendly.

“He will be with us but he will not compete,” Bento told local reporters.

Bento does not believe the injury to Ronaldo will force the forward to miss the team’s first group stage match against Germany on June 16, but he is still considering “every scenario” leading up to the opening match.

“I don’t think so but I have to consider every scenario,” Bento said. “What I don’t want to do is put any sort of pressure on a player that causes them to compete when they are not in a the right state to do so.

“We’re not setting any deadlines. The player’s well-being comes first. I want him to be in the best possible form without running any risks. We must have a team that compete with the players who are usually the first choices and can compete with players who maybe aren’t among the first choices.”

Portugal central defender Pepe is ruled out because of a calf injury that forced the 31-year-old to miss last Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final against Atletico Madrid. Pepe is expected to recover and be healthy before Portugal kicks off in Brazil.

Following Saturday’s friendly, Portugal will travel to the United States for two final tune-up matches against Mexico and the Republic of Ireland on June 6 and 10, respectively.

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What do you make of the injuries to Ronaldo and Pepe? Think there is any chance that Ronaldo misses time at the World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

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24 Responses to Portugal to rest Ronaldo, Pepe in friendly vs. Greece

  1. John from Philadelphia says:

    play it safe ronnie

  2. August Spies says:

    “Sweep the Leg” – time for the US to go Kobra Kai style on that pretty boy.

  3. Curtis says:

    “You got a problem with that?”

    “No, sensai.”

    • Paul says:

      No mercy.

      • August Spies says:

        ” Fear does not exist in this dojo, does it?”
        Who wants Sensai Kreese as the next USMNT coach?
        He would definitely foster an “American style”.

  4. Benjamin C. says:

    Chances that Ronaldo even pays attention to the match since he is not playing in it?

  5. JayAre says:

    This makes no sense. The need to get on the field and run full sprints if they want to be ready for the US

    • Increase says:

      That sounds risky. They had better lie down and just not move for the next 3 weeks.

      Atrophy has the word Trophy for a reason. It’s so Obvious!

  6. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Where does Portugal without CR rank ?

    Of course where does tbe US without Dempsey rank ?

  7. Brad C says:

    Pepe is definitely getting a red card this tourney. Him and Roja Marquez (mexico) are locks.

    • Maykol says:

      That dosent really make sense considering Pepe has gotten a total of zero red cards in two years

  8. OB Rick says:

    Every day I wake up praying that CR sprains his ankle….yeah, I am a bad man.

  9. Raymon says:

    So how will we get a good scouting report on the opposition? Now we wont know who to mark. Sneaky Bento!

  10. Jim says:

    I guess Ronaldo at his age can’t train for 12 consecutive days anymore, he must not be competing at the highest level. Bento better cut him now and get rid of him.

    • BookNerd says:

      Um, I’m going to say that Ronaldo plays at a much, much, much higher level than Donovan. He plays more games than Donovan. He is the face of both Portugal and soccer in general. There is more pressure on him than anyone, except maybe Messi. Do you see him taking sabbaticals? Hmm…I don’t think so. The guy never complains, but does need some rest before the world cup.

    • Raymon says:

      If Ronaldo said he’s going to Cambodia for the next 12 days to watch Andy Griffith reruns and eat bon bons, no coach in the world would cut him from their roster. This story is not about LD, scroll back a couple weeks if you want to discuss that news. Time to move on.

  11. stanson says:

    I hope he sprains his abs.

  12. KingGoogleyEye says:

    I guess Evans’ tweet really freaked Ronaldo out.