Luis Nani has been ruled out of the
The injury was sustained as the player landed heavily after attempting an acrobatic shot in training on Friday. Initially thought to be only a minor injury, the mercurial winger sat out the last training session on home soil before the side travelled to Johannesburg. Despite missing training, he remained optimistic of shaking off the injury, stating: “I feel better already,” during the team’s flight from Lisbon and refused to rule out facing Mozambique in yesterday’s friendly international. This optimism turned out to be ill-founded as a statement on the Portuguese Football Federation’s website noted: “Following the injury to the left clavicle suffered by Nani, a daily assessment of the damage and the completion of medical tests, we have concluded he is unable to be competitive.” After working hard to establish himself as a starter for both club and country, Nani’s flicks and tricks have illuminated both Manchster United’s season and Portugal’s build up to the World Cup. It is saddening that the player’s acrobatics, so often seen as a celebration after scoring another spectacular goal, should bring about his exclusion from the tournament.
With their first fixture against Ivory Coast on June 15 looming, Portugal moved quickly to invoke FIFA regulations to call up a replacement player in the case of ‘serious injury’ and have selected Benfica’s defensive midfielder Ruben Amorim. This is a surprising selection by Coach Carlos Queiroz, as the obvious choice would have been to replace like-for-like in terms of positions, in order to maintain the balance of the squad. Instead, the Selec