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"I need to prepare for a World Cup with or without Cristiano Ronaldo"

Saturday, May 31, 2014 by Marca.com

Portugal manager Paulo Bento has made it clear that he's not going to take risks with Cristiano Ronaldo's return, and that at the moment he can't guarantee if the Portuguese ace will be ready for his side's opening game against Germany.

Portugal's first game at the World Cup will be on 16th June in Salvador de Bahía. "I'm ready to play the World Cup with Cristiano Ronaldo, and without him. I need to take everything into consideration and I can't force a player who's not fit to play. We'll see how he develops from day to day and I don't want to take any risks", explained Paulo Bento.

The coach also ruled out playing Ronaldo in the friendly against Greece. Bento confirmed that Real Madrid centre-back Pepe will also miss the friendly in the Jamor stadium.

Ronaldo and Pepe, who have been assessed by the Portuguese Football Federation's doctors, joined up with the rest of their national squad, which also features Madrid's Fabio Coentrao, just a few days after claiming the Champions League in Lisbon.

Before starting the World Cup against Germany, Portugal will travel to the United States to face Mexico, on 6th June in Boston, and Ireland, on the 10th at the MetLife Stadium, home of the New Jersey Jets.

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