Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul Meireles, Portugal

World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Raul Meireles will not play in Portugal’s friendly vs. Mexico

The knee problems afflicting megastar Cristiano Ronaldo will prevent him from taking the field in Friday's friendly vs. Mexico (8:30 pm ET, ESPN2/UniMas) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., the Portuguese federation confirmed on Thursday.

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The Real Madrid winger will also be joined on the sidelines by defender Pepe and midfielder Raul Meireles. The trio are “considered unfit” for the Mexico match and will continue to work on their injury concerns with team trainers.

Ronaldo has been diagnosed with tendinosis, a degeneration of tendon collagen due to chronic overuse, in his left knee, and his status for Portugal’s World Cup campaign inn Group G is unclear at the moment.

He sat out Portugal's previous match, a 0-0 draw with Greece in Lisbon over the weekend.

After the Mexico friendly, Portugal face the Republic of Ireland in their final preparation match on June 10 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., before jetting to Brazil. They open Group G play June 16 in Salvador against Germany, and will take on the US national team June 22 in Manaus.


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