Bento: Portugal pleased with Ronaldo's progress

The coach says he is happy with the extent of his star man's recovery from injury, but stopped short of confirming the forward would play against Republic of Ireland
Portugal trainer Paulo Bento says his medical staff are happy with Cristiano Ronaldo's progress in recovering from injury, prior to the World Cup.

Bento stopped short, however, of confirming whether Ronaldo, or fellow injury-hit stars Raul Meireles and Pepe, would have a part to play in their country's final warm-up game, against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.

"My confidence in the medical department of the national team is 100 per cent," the 44-year-old told reporters. "We are pleased with the progress of Ronaldo.

"With the exception of Beto, all of the players are training without limitations. Pepe and Raul Meireles also trained today.

"To me there is nothing more important than the players' health. This is something that we always consider and we take our decisions bearing this in mind.

"All three [Ronaldo, Meireles and Pepe] are different injury situations. In the case of Raul, he played until the end of the league season.

"Ronaldo's case is somewhat different. It had to do with what happened in the Champions League final.

"Pepe's case happened before the Champions League final. They are different situations and we are trying to address all of them."

Portugal open their World Cup campaign to Germany on June 16, before facing USA and Ghana in a bid to reach the last 16 in Brazil.

They were eliminated by Spain in the second round four years ago, but will be hoping Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo can help to propel them to their 2006 heights of a semi-final finish at least.