With one week to go before the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, the football world (which includes much of humanity) has been buzzing in recent days about the fate of one of its best and most visible players.
Portugal’s Christian Ronaldo is nursing a knee ailment described in press reports as “tendinosis” in his left knee cap. The Portuguese Football Federation said Wednesday that Ronaldo underwent “specially adapted, individual” training on Monday. The ailment apparently kept him out of a pre-tournament match-up last week that saw Portugal play to a scoreless draw with Greece.
The health of the 29-year-old forward is of great interest not only to Portugal as a whole but the other teams Portugal has been paired up with in Group G: Germany, the United States and Ghana.
While the other sides have no doubt been painstakingly reviewing video of Ronaldo’s exploits, the Ghanaian Black Stars, meanwhile, have taken a more unusual approach to preparations. To be precise, a Ghanaian witchdoctor has joined the preparations with his own contribution, as VOA’s Portuguese Service Joao Jose Santarita reports:
Ghanaian witchdoctor Nana Kwaku Bonsam claims he has put a spiritual spell — Kahwiri Kapam — on Cristiano Ronaldo that is responsible for the Portuguese star’s knee and thigh injuries that have raised doubts about his ability to be at 100 percent for the World Cup.
“I know what Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury is about,” he told Kumasi radio station Angel FM. “I’m working on him. I am very serious about it. Last week I went around looking for four dogs and I got them to be used in manufacturing a special spirit called ‘Kahwiri Kapam.’”
Bonsam said his goal was to rule Ronaldo out of the World Cup or at least prevent him from playing against Ghana.
“This injury can never be cured by any medic,” he said. “They can never see what is causing the injury because it is spiritual. Today it is his knee, tomorrow it is his thigh, next day it is something else.”
Ghanaian teams have been accused of using witchcraft in the past. Two years ago, Black Stars coach Goran Stevanovic blamed players using witchcraft against their own teammates were responsible for their loss to Zambia in the semifinals of the African Cup of Nations.
On Wednesday, Ronaldo was seen training with the ball for the first time as at the start of a training session open to the media at the New York Jets training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.
No word on whether Team USA plan on enlisting the help of a witchdoctor in its preparations for what many consider to be “The Group of Death” (on account of the quality and caliber of the teams).
And if there’s any question in your mind as to Ronaldo’s flair, skill and artistry on the field, check out this snazzy little video posted by Ronaldo’s home club, Real Madrid, on its Web site.