Cristiano Ronaldo could play World Cup opener after returning to training

Gualter Fatia

Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to training with Portugal and could play their World Cup opener.

Portugal look set to have Cristiano Ronaldo back fit for their World Cup campaign after the 29-year-old returned to training on Saturday, and has successfully completed sessions since. Ronaldo had been struggling with an unfortunate combination of a thigh muscle injury and knee tendinosis, though fortunately they don't look like they'll be troubling him when the action finally gets underway in Brazil.

It's possible that he'll be in Paulo Bento's starting lineup today as Portugal play the Republic of Ireland in their final World Cup preparation match, and ESPN's Pedro Gomez is reporting that Ronaldo should be fit for their tournament opener against Germany next Monday.

That would come as a massive relief for Bento, with Portugal having -- perhaps unsurprisingly -- struggled without Ronaldo in the side. They laboured to a goalless draw against Greece late last month, before edging out a fairly unimpressive Mexico side 1-0 courtesy of a stoppage time winner from Bruno Alves last week.

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