Ghana’s 2022 Fifa World Cup opening day opponents Portugal have been dealt a major blow with forward Diogo Jota ruled out of the Qatar tournament due to a calf injury.
His club Liverpool FC’s manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed this on Tuesday.
Jota, 25, was taken off on a stretcher deep into stoppage time during the Reds’ 1-0 Premier League win against champions Manchester City last Sunday.
“Really not good news, yes he will miss the World Cup.
“Pretty serious injury in the calf muscle and now the process starts. That’s it pretty much,” said Klopp, adding that Jota would not require surgery.
“All the rest will now follow in the next few days. Very sad news for the boy, for us as well and for Portugal… I don’t want to put a time on it (his return). It will be a long time.”
Jota, who has scored 10 times in 29 appearances for Portugal, had only regained full fitness after missing the opening few weeks of the season due to a hamstring problem.
Asked how Jota had taken the news, Klopp said: “He’s surprisingly okay so far, a smart boy and he knew it when we carried him off. At that moment he knew it.”
After the first game against the Black Stars, Portugal will play Uruguay and South Korea to complete their campaign in Group H.