Nani the latest World Cup casualty

By on June 9, 2010

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By Ross Mackiewicz.

Portugal winger Nani has suffered a huge blow as he digests the realisation of missing out on his first FIFA World Cup. The Manchester United star had suffered a fracture to his collarbone last Friday during a training session prior to the squad’s departure for South Africa. Initial fears over the 23 year old missing the tournament had been quashed but the Portuguese Football Federation succumbed to the disappointing news that one of their prized assets will be unable to compete. They released a statement reading:

“Following the injury sustained to the left clavicle by Nani, a daily assessment of the damage and the completion of medical tests, we concluded that he was unable to be competitive. The file will be passed to the medical department of Manchester United.”

Nani had endured his best season to date in England after netting seven times in 34 appearances for The Red Devils where he proved to be an instrumental figure in Sir Alex Ferguson’s quest to retain their Premier League crown where they narrowly missed out to eventual winners Chelsea.

Former Old Trafford assistant Carlos Queiroz, who is now gearing his Portugal side for their opening fixture of the finals against the Ivory Coast revealed his disappointment for Nani but insisted the 2006 semi-finalist’s must now focus on the task in hand.

“It’s very sad but the most important thing is the cohesion of the team and that we all play together to get over it.” said Queiroz

“We are a team, we play united with a lot of ambition. This is what I want.”

“Nani is in pain. We carried out tests and the upshot is that he is not fit to compete.”

Benfica midfielder Ruben Amorim will now link up with the squad in Africa as Nani’s replacement despite not making a single senior international appearance. The 25 year old has made 10 appearances for the Portugal under-21’s and helped aid his club Benfica stroll to their 32nd league title last month.

Nani joins fellow Premier League stars Michael Ballack, Jon Obi Mikel, Michael Essien, Jose Bosingwa, United team mate Rio Ferdiand and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba who is struggling to be fit for the finals after fracturing the ulna in his right forearm in a friendly against Japan last week.

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