Cristiano Ronaldo is back from his injury and is ready to wreck any chances of the United States advancing to the next round of the World Cup.
The 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner showed his football skills yesterday at practice and then dazzled in Portugal’s final World Cup friendly at MetLife Stadium, leading his team to a 6-1 blowout win over Ireland. It was his first game action since playing 120 minutes in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid last month.
If Paulo Bento’s squad showed little signs of life against Mexico last week, then Ronaldo single-handedly got them back on track against Ireland. Ronaldo didn’t find the back of the net, but banged the post once on a free-kick attempt in the first half and provided clever backheel passes throughout most of the night. He was subbed out at the 65th minute for Nani.
Ronaldo had been bothered by a thigh injury that kept him out of Portugal’s previous two matches against Greece and Mexico. The team also admitted that he’s been plagued by patellar tendonitis in his left knee.
If there is one player the U.S. should be scared of, it’s Ronaldo. Even at 80 percent, CR7 can be a nightmare for Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad.
Portugal will begin their World Cup campaign Monday against Germany at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador before squaring off against the U.S. on June 22 in Manaus. If the U.S. can’t get three points against Ghana before facing Portugal, they’re in trouble.