Portugal winger Nani ruled out of World Cup through injury
Portugal winger Nani has been ruled out of the World Cup with a shoulder injury.
“After tests we conclude he is unfit to participate in the World Cup,” the Portuguese Football Federation said in a statement.
Nani picked up the injury in training on Friday in Lisbon before flying to South Africa.
The Manchester United wide man has been in fine form recently, scoring in his country’s 3-1 win over Cameroon and playing a vital role in his club’s end of season.
The World Cup was set to be the high point in a season which saw Nani improve his crossing and defensive work markedly.
Portugal’s chances will be hit by the loss of one of their starting XI (they are 25/1 to win the World Cup) while Cristiano Ronaldo’s hopes for winning the Golden Shoe may also be lessened.
It had been thought the Real Madrid man might take up a more central striking role with Nani in his place on the wing. But Liedson is now expected to start up front with Ronaldo, 16/1 to finish tournament top scorer, reverting to his customary wide berth.
How will Portugal fare without Nani? They are 5/4 to exit at the group stage.