World Cup 2022: Cristiano Ronaldo doubtful for Portugal's clash with South Korea

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on 28 November, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.
(Image credit: Richard Sellers/Getty Images)

Portugal (opens in new tab) manager Fernando Santos has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo is a doubt for Friday's World Cup 2022 (opens in new tab) encounter with South Korea.

Already assured of a place in the last 16, the Portuguese enter their Group H finale needing just a point to secure top spot – but it goes without saying that they'd rather have their star man available.

Ronaldo scored his country's first goal of the tournament – a penalty to set them on their way to a 3-2 win over Ghana in their opening game – and, in doing so, became the first player ever to find the net at five separate men's World Cups.

He tried to claim the opener in Monday's 2-0 victory against Uruguay, only for replays to show that Bruno Fernandes' cross had sailed straight in.

But it remains unclear whether the leading international scorer of all time will be able to add to his 118-goal haul on Friday.

Speaking to the media in the build-up to the South Korea match, Santos said (opens in new tab)

"I think it's 50/50 if [Ronaldo] plays or not; we'll see.

"It will depend on if and how he practises today [Thursday] – if we see he is in good condition. There is a plan for if he is not available."

Ronaldo – whose controversy-laden second spell with Manchester United (opens in new tab) came to an end last week as the club terminated his contract – missed training on Wednesday due to an unspecified injury.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...