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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup chit-chat: Ronaldo back in training with Portugal

World Cup chit-chat: Ronaldo back in training with Portugal

Last updated on: June 08, 2014 14:07 IST

World Cup chit-chat: Ronaldo back in training with Portugal

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Cristiano Ronaldo, suffering with tendinosis around his left knee and an injury to his right thigh, trained with his Portugal team mates on Saturday for the first time since joining the World Cup squad 10 days ago.

Midfielder Raul Meireles was also involved in the session but central defender Pepe continued to train separately, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) said in a statement.

According to media reports, Ronaldo did not show any limitations during the first 15 minutes of the session which were open to the media.

The World Player of the Year missed the recent friendlies against Greece and Mexico.

Ronaldo, 29, struggled with minor injuries during the closing weeks of Real Madrid's season before playing 120 minutes in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid and scoring the final goal in their 4-1 win, with a penalty.

Portugal, who are training just outside New York, face Germany in their opening World Cup match on June 16. They also face United States and Ghana in their group.

Meireles has a problem in his left thigh and Pepe a muscular injury in his right leg.

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo (left) of Portugal stretches with teammate Raul Meireles
Photographs: Ray Stubblebine/Reuters

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Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit for World Cup, says Hodgson

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England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit to play at the World Cup after damaging his medial knee ligament against Ecuador in a warmup game, according to manager Roy Hodgson.

"I think he will make the tournament without a shadow of a doubt. That's good news," Hodgson said on Saturday after his side were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Honduras.

A disconsolate Oxlade-Chamberlain had hobbled off during the 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday at the Sun Life stadium.

England were relieved to get through their latest test ahead of the finals in Brazil without any more injuries but captain Steven Gerrard was not happy with the Honduras tackling.

Striker Daniel Sturridge was lucky to escape without injury when Emilio Izaguirre booted the ball against his midriff having just brought him down with a reckless challenge.

"I don't understand the referee when the ball is being kicked into a player's chest," said Gerrard. "That should have been a straight red card and with 10 men it could have been different."

Fellow World Cup qualifiers Honduras were eventually reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute when right back Brayan Beckeles was shown a second yellow card for catching England's Leighton Baines in the head with his arm as they jumped for the ball.

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Image: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in action
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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World Cup stadium delays force fans to switch tickets

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More than 1,000 fans planning to attend World Cup matches in Brazil have been forced to switch seats after stadium building delays and changes to signage compelled a reconfigurement of some seating plans, local organisers said on Saturday.

Emails were sent to 1,376 fans telling them to exchange their tickets for others of the same category but in a different section of several of the 12 tournament stadiums.

The substitutions were forced upon organisers by the delay in completing the stadiums, a problem that has dogged preparations for several years and continues to do so less than a week before the opening match between Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo next Thursday.

A FIFA media spokesman said that officials had contacted ticketholders in advance to prevent confusion or delays on match days and that the changes affected only a tiny proportion of the 2.2 million tickets sold.

"The very nature of proactively contacting the customers about problems with seats should illustrate the extra effort that FIFA is undertaking in order to ensure that the seats exist on match day at the stadia or that alternative seats will be provided," said a FIFA spokesman.

"This was not possible for the Confederations Cup (where there were similar problems) and every effort is being taken in the World Cup to proactively communicate with the customers. It is in the best interest of the customer to get their ticket in advance of match day to avoid having any challenges at the stadium on a match day.

"Every day we are reviewing and inspecting seats as there are still temporary elements that are being installed within the stadiums. So we will continue to monitor and will proactively communicate with customers where possible," FIFA said in a statement.


Image: A Brazilian football fan cheers for her team
Photographs: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

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