Wednesday Kickoff: Ronaldo suffering from tendonitis; Mexico falls to Bosnia; and more

CristianoRonaldoPortugal3-Sweden2013 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Cristiano Ronaldo is in a race against time to regain full fitness for Portugal’s World Cup opener.

The Portuguese Football Federation released a medical report that stated Ronaldo was suffering from a thigh muscle injury as well as left-knee tendonitis. The Portuguese national team has been training at the New York Jets training facility since arriving earlier this week, but Ronaldo has been seen running on his own and not taking part in full team activities.

The 29-year-old star suffered from knee problems throughout the second half of the season for Real Madrid and played through the pain in the UEFA Champions League final, even though it was clear that he wasn’t fit. Now Ronaldo, who was held out in Portugal’s scoreless draw against Greece on Saturday, must become fit enough for Portugal’s first match on June 16 against Germany in Salvador.

Ronaldo wasn’t the only name on the medical report. Defender Pepe, midfielder Raul Meireles, and goalkeeper Beto are all recovering from injuries and will be taking part in individual workouts.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday going:

MEXICO FALLS TO BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA IN CHICAGO

El Tri and head coach Miguel Herrera still have many unanswered questions after a disappointing performance for the Mexican national team in Chicago.

Herrera elected to give some of the team’s reserves a run in the starting lineup, with Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Marquez, Jose de Jesus Corona, and Oribe Peralta all rested for the match. However, the performance by the reserves didn’t live up to the pro-Mexico crowd’s expectations as Bosnia and Herzegovina ran away with an impressive 1-0 win at Soldier Field.

Bosnian forward Izet Hajrovic scored the game’s only goal in the 41st minute, latching on to a pass from Sejad Salihovic in the center of the box and firing home with a first-time strike.

Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic had a big game for his nation as well, making five saves and keeping the likes of Javier Hernandez off the scoresheet.

BRAZIL ROUTS PANAMA IN WORLD CUP WARM-UP

The Brazilian national team gave fans a sneak peak of what they can expect at the World Cup.

In their first warm-up match ahead of the tournament, the Selecao toyed with Panama on their way to a 4-0 victory at the Estádio Serra Dourada in Goiania. Neymar scored one goal on a beautiful free kick and set up two other goals, one with a terrific back-heel pass to teammate Hulk.

Dani Alves and Chelsea midfielder Willian completed the rout as Brazil picked up more momentum ahead of the World Cup.

NIGERIA PLAYS GREECE TO DULL DRAW

Nigeria picked up their second consecutive tie on Wednesday night as they played Greece to a scoreless draw at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

Both squads rested some regular starters and neither team had a legitimate chance to score until late in the second half. Greece came closest in the 83rd minute when substitutes Georgios Samaras and Dimitrio Salpingidis each had shots on goal, but Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made two great saves.

Five minutes later, Nigeria had a chance to win the match when Ogenyi Onazi struck from long range, but substitute Greek goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino made a diving stop to his left to keep Nigeria off the board.

Nigeria now heads for northern Florida as they prepare to face the U.S. Men’s National Team on Saturday in Jacksonville. Looking forward, Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi wants the team to continue improving and correct some of the mistakes they’ve been making when they play the USA.

“I expect a good game from the United States,” Keshi told Goal.com. “Klinsmann is going to have this German mentality that they’re going to go all the way.

“I just want to see my players in better cohesion than I saw [against Greece]. I know as we go along playing our friendly games, correcting the mistakes that we’re making, it’s going to come alive.”

QUICK KICKS

Bayern Munich midfielder Thomas Müller has asked for clarification from the club and head coach Pep Guardiola about whether he’ll be an integral member of the team next season. (REPORT)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said that his club isn’t negotiating with Juventus for Paul Pogba, and that Alvaro Morata won’t be going the other way to Turin. (REPORT)

Liverpool has made a bid of 12 million euros ($16.35 million) for 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid have completed the signing of Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya on a three-year contract. (REPORT)

Former AC Milan coach Max Allegri is being touted to take over as Lazio head coach for the upcoming season. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Ronaldo recovering in time? What did you think of Mexico’s performance? Think the U.S. can defeat Nigeria?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, International Soccer, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

112 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Ronaldo suffering from tendonitis; Mexico falls to Bosnia; and more

  1. Del Griffin says:

    Could be huge for us if Ronaldo is not 100%. My wife will be very upset if he doesn’t play though

    • Sheriff Bart says:

      Tendanitis for soccer players can be a major problem. My orthopedic surgeon said he sees a great deal of it with high school and college age players. It is something that a long period of rest is necessary. Ultrasonic therapy and topical meds can help with masking the pain but only for a short time. I would bet he will suck it up an play most of the first game unless they get it in hand and he is not called on to log heavy minutes. Hopefully no more major names will have injuries. The WC is meant to see the stars shine.

  2. doug says:

    Come on TSA, plant some contraband on Ronaldo when they go to fly to Brazil. You already know the dude’s hair products are more than the legal 3oz.

  3. NASLatlanta says:

    Feel bad for anyone with an injury, but also happy for the Yanks if this gives us a slightly better chance of surviving the group stage.

    • Matt C says:

      Actually we want him to start against but limp off after 20 minutes forcing Portugal to use and early sub….a la Atletico v. RM in CL final.

      • MLSsnob says:

        Let’s be honest, even without Ronaldo, Portugal has more talent then us. Certainly helps though.

        • Matt C says:

          That is interesting MLSsnob. Agreed it does. However, CR7 is probably the only one on the team who can score goals almost by himself.

          Got me to thinking. Wasn’t the 2002 Portugal WC team more highly touted than the 2014 team? I remember that team as having more weapons. Figo..and two other guys ..some kind of trio..can’t remember their names. Remember Portugal’s performance from 02.

          And Portugal really had a tough run of it qualifying for this WC. AS i recall, it slipped by someone…maybe Sweden?

          Point is: Portugal is to be respected but not feared.

          The reason it’s called the group of death is be/c we’re in it!!

          • MLSsnob says:

            No, I’m not saying we can’t win. I believe that we are definitly capable of pulling out a W, in fact I would be more surprised if we didn’t at least come out with a draw. However, even if CR7 sits, we shouldn’t automatically be favorites.

          • Derrick says:

            Sérgio Conceição and Rui Costa are the other two players from the 2002 team.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Matt C: I love this line: “The reason it’s called the group of death is be/c we’re in it!!”

            Can we play that up? Wear skeleton masks during warm-up. Have Jurgen hold a scythe throughout the match. Get the Undertaker to lead us out onto the field.

            • Matt C says:

              King, you can do what you want with it. Full disclosure, I didn’t make it up. Though we’ve all reached that conclusion, the first place I saw it was on the back of a T-shirt printed by the Tampa chapter of the American Outlaws.

          • Matt says:

            I know he didn’t have a great season, but I’m pretty sure Nani will be able to torch our outside backs with or without Ronaldo playing.

            • doug says:

              Michael Jackson will NOT be doing that to us. If anything he’ll beat our fullbacks and fire a cross or shot 30 yards into Row ZZZ, pissing off Ronaldo in the process

        • Good Jeremy says:

          Without Ronaldo Portugal doesn’t qualify.

      • Chicago Josh says:

        Let’s not forget about CR7’s temper. I’d like to see the odds of him getting a red card against Germany for kicking out at someone.

    • Ben says:

      I’d feel bad if it were a bad injury, but the sort of injury that will prevent him from being 100, though still on the field? I’m not going to lie; I’m okay with that.

  4. milbo says:

    mexico– Tres y Cero and out

  5. Don the Jewler says:

    Watched 30 minutes of Mexico game they were pretty bad.

    • reignman says:

      I watched most of the game and other than the very end when they had a couple chances they were poor throughout. I understand that they rested some starters but that was not a good performance in the slightest.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      People have figured out Mexico’s secret: they are small and not Spain.

      Force El Tri to play crosses in from wide positions = win.

    • MiamiAl says:

      Mexico sucks. We all know this. We followed them through qualifying. They limped through qualifiers, only to be where there are thanks to the charity of US Soccer. They have some deep structural problems within their program which they have been trying to mask for the last few years. Mexico will not be advancing, not because of some reason why we might not advance like being in a tough group, but because they lack quality on the field, determination of mind and heart, and tactical awareness by the manager. This is a program that will be forced to make major changes for the next World Cup cycle. This World Cup they are just going through the motions…

      • Mr_A says:

        But they still have enough funding, and good connections to dirty refs, and expertise in dirty plays… I think Croatia will deserve to advance, but I won’t be too surprised if Mexico squeaks past them on some suspicious calls…

  6. Alex says:

    I’ve been saying this all along ; Ronaldo’s knee hasnt been 100 percent during the second half of the past season. Even though he scored in the final (PK) he was pretty much absent during the game. As you can see from the recent friendly Portugal is definitely not the same w/o him. Every dangerous attack is played thru and has to carry more of the load versus Real Madrid. Safe to say he plays with better attacking players with his club than his cluntry.

  7. Alex says:

    *him

    *country

  8. doug says:

    Mexico looked bad but Bosnia was a class above from the first whistle. Either Mexico was building a team around Montes and now is lost or they’re ust not going to be good enough to get out of the group. Their only hope is to beat Cameroon and hope they have something to play for against Croatia because they damn sure aint beating Brazil

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Or they’re all still a bit shaken up after seeing their teammate’s leg break.

      • doug says:

        Possibly, but half assing it leads to injuries. They need to get their minds right, and fast

  9. Steven C says:

    I found it (slightly) amusing that ESPN showed 2 Bosnia fans at the end of the match, and in the 10 seconds they were on screen, they had drinks thrown at them…..twice.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Against Mexico? They’re just lucky it was drinks….

    • curva sud says:

      Sounds about right in terms of my experiences after beating Mexico in Chicago

      • Dennis says:

        Yes, I was hit in the head by a thrown beer bottle at the end of the 2007 Gold Cup final in Chicago.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      I saw at least three seperate shots of cups flying at the end of that game. Props to that Bosnian Joker guy for basking in the TriTantrum.

    • WiscFan says:

      I noticed that as well. After experiencing that at a Fire game and USMNT / Poland game both at Solider Field, it might just be a Chicago thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if happened at Bears games too.

      • MLSsnob says:

        Hey, we don’t do that type of stuff at Bears games…unless of course you’re a cheeshead.

        • WiscFan says:

          I didn’t know. It’s just my experiences going into Solider Field, drinks are thrown, but not at Toyota Park. Just an observation.

          • Horsewhistle says:

            It’s a Mexican fan thing. Seen a few of their games in the states but not any US ones. I would not advise visiting their section unless incognito.

            • haydenjo says:

              Went to the honduras / us qualifier at soilder field a couple of years ago.
              Some big honduras guys threw some beer at a US fan and his family(wife 2 young boys).
              The US fan complained to the Andy Frain who was an old women.
              She tried to thow the honduras guys out; they just laughed at her.
              Five minutes later 10 chicago cops showed up and ripped those guys out of their seats and bounced them. Whole section cheered.

              Stuff like throwing beer is not allowed; You just need to complain.

      • Lost in Space says:

        It’s not limited to Chicago. Attended both US/Mex Friendlies (unfriendlies) held in Phoenix, and neither were what I would have called safe. Beer thrown, ugly chants, slurs, etc. were being dished out to US supporters. 1st game where the US won 2-0, I was a little fearful when I left the stadium. 2nd game (2-2 tie) wasn’t as bad, but the Mex fans were still ugly to the US fans.

    • Neruda says:

      Are you sure it was beer and not another amber colored liquid?

  10. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Assume that Portugal decides that Ronaldo and Pepe can only play two out of three group stage matches—but it can be any two. Which do they choose?

    Rest them both against Germany, considering that match likely only worth 1 point at most?

    Rest one against USA and the other against Ghana, feeling that they could still get the win or at worst a draw? Rest Pepe against USA, feeling that our attack is not-so-scary, but rest Ronaldo against Ghana, feeling that their defense is already shaky enough?

    • Neruda says:

      Ronaldo is competitor with a lot to prove in international games (where he hasn’t been the most clutch) I can’t see him not at least playing some minutes against Germany. Either way it’s looking certain we won’t see a fully fit/pain free Ronaldo.

    • Benny says:

      Well, if Portugal has a choice, they will definately rest Ronaldo in the Germany game.Ronaldo will definitely be out there in the U.S match, especially if Portugal loses to Germany. They will see it as do or die.There is not only the question of his knee and thigh problems but also his fitness level now. With high temperatures and fitness issues, he may start to cramp sooner than later.

    • Joe says:

      Wait… how fast did you say the first train is going?

    • Good Jeremy says:

      I doubt that they rest him against Germany.
      If they plan to rest him, I see it against us. Not only because we’re the easiest game, but because we come in the middle of the two other games meaning he will have full rest for both Germany and Ghana.

  11. KingGoogleyEye says:

    How many times have we seen the headline, “_________ PLAYS GREECE TO DULL DRAW”?

    • Andrelton says:

      Every game of every tournament ever except Euro 2004

      • HoboMike says:

        That’s only because Euro 2004’s headlines were “Greece Defeats _____ in Dull 1-0 Victory.”

        4 1-0 wins, one 1-1 draw, one 2-1 loss, and a wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open 2-1 victory in the first game of the tournament.

    • HoboMike says:

      The last time the headline was any different was when the Trojans did their thing.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Any game with Greece is pretty much unwatchable.

  12. QuakerOtis says:

    I’m fighting the urge to be happy about this. I don’t like celebrating injuries (openly), and Ronaldo can (and should) still draw defenders if he makes it onto the field. By no means is he a God, but his 70% is still pretty scary. And then there are his set pieces.

    • New York Jets Fans says:

      “Hey CR7!!! Show us your t*ts!!!!”

      He’s been hearing that all week my man. We got this.

  13. Tony in Quakeland says:

    My unsolicited opinions:

    – Glad we’re not playing Bosnia. They have looked good in two games
    – Thought Mexico played reasonably well over the last 15 or so. In general, however, they looked slow. And being Mexico, they spent a lot of time complaining. I still think they get out of their group, however
    – There is no reason for Ronaldo to play against Germany. Portugal can be expected to beat the US and Ghana and make the second round regardless of the Germany result.
    – Nigeria looked disappointing. They never had great teams, but they had great players. This team looked flat.

  14. Doug says:

    Matt Besler last night on Road to Brazil.
    Reporter: How do you stop Cristiano Ronaldo?
    Besler: You steal the ball from him. He’s not a superhero.

    Bravo young man!

    • Sharkbait says:

      Yeah I thought that was hilarious.

    • Bitman says:

      I like Besler. Did you see how far up the pitch he was coming to contest balls against Turkey? Maybe that’s Klinsmann getting in his ear, but while it’s risky I love it.

      US looks hungry to me, which is what I’ve wanted to see for years. We’re attacking pretty much every game, against almost anyone. I think were going to need a win vs. Portugal, as I see a draw as the most likely result vs. Ghana.

      Bring on the games.

      • Doug says:

        Love Besler. He is good at reading the field and steps up a lot to cut out passes and make interceptions. I did notice that sometimes when he did it, Jermaine Jones was caught too high up the field. Besler won the tackles, but had he not there could’ve been several 3v2 or 2v1 situations only 40-45 yards from goal. JJ has got to resist the urge and stay tethered to the CBs.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Well, we don’t know what Ronaldo does at night—-maybe he flies through the air, fighting crime and delivering beauty products to awkward teens while they sleep.

      But on the field, Besler is absolutely right.

    • Probably wouldn’t be sporting to think about hitting him with a truck, right? His answer was much better.

    • Bac says:

      Yea he looked like he wanted to drop sarcastic “Einstein” at the end of that sentence…

    • Shawn says:

      easier said then done

  15. David M says:

    Must say that CONCACAF teams have looked not too impressive so far in these warmups. Honduras and Costa Rica, especially, looked out of their league against Turkey, Israel, and Japan. And it’s not like Bosnia is a world power, but they looked a class above Mexico last night.

    • Bitman says:

      I noticed this too. Only thing is: we were clearly the class of CONCACAF during qualifying. Mexico was far closer to Honduras in quality than to the US. It doesn’t worry me.

      We were clearly better than Turkey I thought, just not dominant.

    • atleticodemadridfan says:

      Bosnia was the better team, and man for man, they were largely the better individually on the ball. Mexico is usually really good at winning 50/50 balls on the ground, at getting headers to their own players, and at playing a crisp one touch passing game, which they did do at times, but only in small spaces, fenced in by a a stingy and tenacious Bosnian defense. The Bosnians were outplaying Mexico on the ground and in the air especially.
      Bosnia was better spaced on the field, tactically and positionally they outplayed Mexico for most of the game. They forced the Mexicans to rely more on long balls, long clearances, crosses in the air, etc. and they are just plain bigger than the Mexicans thus Mexico’s forwards and mids rarely got their heads on any crosses in dangerous positions. Also saw Mexico uncharacteristically give away many balls with errant passes and miscommunication between forwards and mids, not making their runs in synch, etc. – the possession stats are deceptive as most of Mexico’s possession was about negative play, side passes and back passes searching for their rhythm. Granted it was half a team of scrubs, so not entirely Mexico’s A-squad, but Mexico got their a**es handed to them. Royally.

      • Ted Tran says:

        “Mexico got their a**es handed to them. Royally.” On a 1-0, were Mexico had more shots and shots on goal, and possession. LOL

        • atleticodemadridfan says:

          Did you watch the game? The commentators on both Univision and ESPN were in consensus agreement that the possession stats were misleading, that Mexico was soundly outplayed, and that the score line could easily have been 2-3 goals more more BH.

          Mexico was got their ears boxed in.

  16. Shawn says:

    this is a sticky situation im a real madrid fan and ronaldo is my favorite player. But im a bigger USMNT fan. If this injury can bother him enough but not long term i would be fine

  17. Mikey K says:

    (Sigh) Tendonitis is what Donovan had and he played through it but JK would rather him go full 100% and blow his knee out.

  18. The Other Jeff says:

    I’m asking those who know the Portugese side well. How seriously should we take Portugal’s performance against Greece? They looked pretty bad in the back – disorganized, terrible giveaways Greece was not able to capitalize on. On attack their only weapon seemed to be early crosses, which would seem to play into our strength. Understood Ronaldo tilts the attack – if he is healthy.

    Same for Ghana v Netherlands. Perhaps they can pull it all together in the time they have left, but they looked awful on offense against Netherlands. Players standing over the ball waving their arms at teammates to move somewhere useful. Long balls over the top and generally out of bounds on the right. Dribble into traffic then stall and lose the ball on the left. The first time they switched the point of attack in the attacking half was the 65th minute, then it didn’t happen again until ten minutes later. Netherlands able to press high and gain turnovers deep in the attacking third.

    I watched those games prepared to be frightened and came away much more confident.

  19. Chucks says:

    Mexico’s coach is pathetic. He called the Bosnians “pigs” because they changed their lineup in the last minute; while his daughter launched a twitter tirade calling out fans and insulting people for not “believing in her father”

    Can’t wait til Brazil massacres them.

  20. Birgit Calhoun says:

    You can’t necessarily believe what is being said about a player’s injuries.It may be a reuse. This kind of disinformatin is common to make people think it’s easier to win against a cetain team, in this case Portugal.

    • Joe says:

      True, but if they hold him out any longer it would lead one to believe that he really is injured. These warm-up matches can’t be entirely disregarded.

    • Benny says:

      It’s no reuse. If he were fine, he would be training hard with the team trying to gain World Cup fitness. His technical ability might be fine but he needs to be fully fit. If not, he is going to dry up in the heat.

  21. MikeG says:

    Earlier yesterday I see Portugal training in the USA and Ronaldo jogging around a soccer field and in the lead. Today, I read about Patella Tendonitis. I have chondromalacia Patella myself. Expect Ronaldo to be 100% ready and at FULL SPEED in Brazil. LOL. Funny press.

  22. Joe says:

    Someone needs to send this guy a nice gift basket, as a thank you.
    link to theguardian.com

  23. Joe says:

    Don’t sleep on Bosnia. They have a good team.