Reigning Ballon d'Or winner and Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is facing injury problems with less than two weeks before Portugal's opening World Cup match against Germany on June 16. Trainers have diagnosed him with "left-leg patellar tendinosis." He's already missed an international friendly against Greece and looks likey to miss another upcoming friendly against Mexico.
What's causing CR7's fitness struggles?
Is he getting old?
He's 29, which is considered past prime for many footballers.
Is it fatigue?
The club that pays his bills, Real Madrid, recently won the most prestigious tournament in Europe, the Champions League, after a brutal, extra-time final against crosstown rivals Athletico Madrid.
Or is something more sinister at work?
That's what Nana Kwaku Bonsam, a practitioner of traditional medicine in Ghana, would have us believe.
Kwaka Bonsam isn't some minor publicity seeker. He's famous in his home country, where news media cover his life the way the American press covers Hollywood celebrities. And when he spent a year living in the Bronx in 2013, the New York Times published a 2,500-word profile of him.
Like most Earthlings, Kwaka Bonsam is a soccer fan, so when the World Cup gods placed Ghana alongside Germany, Portugal, and the United States in Group G, the "Group of Death," he sprang into action.
He promised Ghana and the rest of the non-Portuguese world that he would injure Cristiano Ronaldo.
With news of Ronaldo's "left-leg patellar tendinosis," Kawaka Bonsam is almost ready to claim victory.
"I know what Christiano's injury is about," he told a Ghanaian radio station. "I'm working on him."
"Working on him" is more or less what you're picturing. Kawaka Bonsam is placing various leaves and concotions around an image of Ronaldo. He even "went around looking for four dogs" in order to create a "special spirit called Kahwiri Kapam." He did not specify what he did to the dogs.
Sounds strange, but it's no joke.
“I am very serious about it," he said.
“I said it four months ago that I will work on Cristiano Ronaldo seriously and rule him out of the World up or at least prevent him from playing against Ghana and the best thing I can do is to keep him out though injury. This injury can never be cured by any medic, 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.”
He has until June 26, the day that Ghana and Portugal face off in Brazil, to finish his work on Ronaldo. Trainers for the Portuguese national team are no doubt working hard as well.