Ronaldo expected to face U.S.
CRISTIANO RONALDO is fully fit to play against the United States in their crucial Group G match on Sunday, a Portugal teammate said yesterday.
Ronaldo needed an ice pack for his troublesome left knee during the day's training session, once again raising concerns about the world player of the year's fitness.
But backup goalkeeper Beto said the Real Madrid star would be ready for the showdown with the United States in the Amazon rain forest capital of Manaus.
"Cristiano is 100 percent fit to play. Every match, if he starts to play, it is because he is fit to play, he's ready to play," Beto insisted. "He loves football but his body is the most important thing for him . . . so if he starts a match he is ready, he is fit, so I don't think that is a problem."
Portugal was humiliated in a 4-0 loss to Germany in their World Cup opener. Ronaldo was doubtful to play before that game, but declared himself fit. He went on to produce a subdued performance.
Ronaldo has been hampered by tendinitis and a muscle injury since before the tournament, creating plenty of speculation about how he would perform in Brazil.
Beto said the 29-year-old Real Madrid forward was "sick of reading things about him that are not true.''
Beto said Portugal's players are confident of beating the U.S.
"The best version of Portugal can beat United States," he said.
* Shocked by a suicide bombing attack against a World Cup viewing site in northeast Nigeria, the country's national team is more determined than ever to succeed in Brazil and provide some comfort to those at home, a team official said.
Emmanuel Attah, the team's coordinator, appealed for calm in Nigeria and said the team remained united and focused on its task of beating Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday, following a 0-0 draw with Iran in its Group F opener.
"The only way we can console these people who lost their lives or who were injured is to just do one thing: go ahead and beat Bosnia and qualify for the next round of the World Cup," he said at the team hotel in Campinas, northeast of Sao Paulo, where the team is training.
Police say 14 people were killed and at least 26 wounded in Tuesday night's blast in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, as fans were watching the Brazil vs. Mexico match. Witnesses said a suicide bomber drove a tricycle taxi with explosives into the area.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but police blamed Boko Haram, an armed Islamic group that wants to turn Nigerian into an Islamic state and is behind the kidnapping of 250 schoolgirls.
* Uruguay captain Diego Lugano (knee injury) has been ruled out of the today's match against England.
* Police said they arrested 16 Colombians for allegedly assaulting two Brazilians in the World Cup host city Belo Horizonte.