Cristiano Ronaldo declares himself ready to play

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm •  Published: June 15, 2014
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SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Star striker Cristiano Ronaldo declared himself fit on Sunday and ready to play in Portugal's World Cup opener against Germany.

Ronaldo said he had recovered from a left-knee injury that has bothered him recently.

"I would be the first to tell the coach if I were unable to play, I would never put my career at risk even for a World Cup," Ronaldo said as he prepared for Monday's match in Group G.

"I'd love to be 110 percent and but I am 100 percent and that is enough to help my team," the Real Madrid striker said.

The Portugal forward and FIFA player of the year was seen earlier this week walking away from training with ice bags on his knee. He wore a bandage on the knee during Sunday's practice at the match venue, the Arena Fonte Nova.

"Obviously I wish I did not have any pain, but that is impossible," Ronaldo said. "I don't think there's ever been a day without pain."

Ronaldo played in his team's Champions League final on May 24 despite earlier doubts about his fitness and scored a penalty to complete Real Madrid's 4-1 victory over city rival Atletico.

Both German and Portuguese teams have stressed that Portugal is not just about Ronaldo. But Portugal's hopes of upsetting Germany will hinge on Ronaldo's ability to score.

"The importance of having in the team a player like Cristiano is enormous, but this does not mean we have to be world champions," Portugal coach Paulo Bento said Sunday. "All 23 players have to be like a compact team in order to achieve a good result."