World Cup 2014: Cristiano Ronaldo tries American football... but proves he's better with the ball at his feet than in his hands

Portugal star was training at the New York Jets' facility ahead of the friendly against the Republic of Ireland

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to training with the Portugal squad on Monday night and even had time for football of a very different kind.

The world’s best player and his team-mates trained at the New York Jets of the NFL’s facility in New Jersey ahead of the friendly with the Republic of Ireland.

Although he is a master with the ball at his feet, the Real Madrid star wasn’t the best with the ball in hand, despite some tuition from Jets wide receiver David Nelson.

Ronaldo threw a couple of wobbly passes, before he and Pepe went head to head in a vertical leap test, attempting to head a ball that was hanging from the goalposts.


Ronaldo missed at the first attempt, and was then bettered by Pepe, before making it at the second attempt.

He then tried place-kicking, before meeting Jets president Woody Johnson, who gave the Ballon d’Or winner a team helmet.

Portugal play Martin O’Neill’s team tonight at the Jets’ home, the MetLife Stadium, before beginning their World Cup campaign in an unforgiving Group G against Germany.

Portugal also face the US and Ghana in the group stage.

Jon Walters is hoping to face the Portuguese just a week after finding himself on a drop in hospital.

The 30-year-old striker had been suffering with a mystery virus, even being prescribed medication for meningitis, but he is now on the mend.

Ronaldo will not consider a career change after his performance with the Jets

"I had woken up in Dubai and started to get headaches and my eyes got worse,” he said.

"By the time I landed, I was struggling to drive home from the airport. I got a good night's sleep, but the next morning I woke up the same, just really, really bad headaches.

"My eyes were really sore and I couldn't look up at the light. I was struggling all day and went to hospital that night.

"Because I had headaches and the like, they put me straight through and put me on a drip and gave me antibiotics for meningitis just in case.

"They have to take it as a worst case scenario, so they gave me that on a drip and then a few hours later, I had a blood test. Then at 1am, they said it had all come back clean and it could be a migraine.

"But that evening, my daughter had the same thing, headaches and she was throwing up all night, so it must have been a bug. But they don't know, all the blood tests came back clean."

He added: He said: "I would like to be involved - hopefully I will be. There are a lot of lads who want to play, so we will see what team he [manager Martin O'Neill] picks. But I'd like to be involved.

"It's their [Portugal's] last game before the World Cup starts, so depending on who plays, I'm sure there will be players who will want to impress.

"It's a great. They are the games you want to be involved in."