Cristiano Ronaldo limps out of Real Madrid training but Zidane optimistic

MADRID — Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo limped out of training on Tuesday to increase concerns over his fitness for Saturday’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane had earlier admitted that Ronaldo was not at peak condition but was confident he would be in good shape by the weekend.

Ronaldo, 31, has been troubled by a thigh strain through recent weeks and missed the first leg of the semifinal against Manchester City.

He returned for the second leg against City and also played in the 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna on May 14, scoring both goals, but was substituted at half-time and has not played a full part in training sessions since then.

Zidane told a news conference at Madrid’s media open day at their Valdebebas training ground ahead of Tuesday’s session that he was not concerned over the Portugal captain’s availability.

“There will be no problem with that,” Zidane said. “We had a game among ourselves on Saturday and [Ronaldo] didn’t play, but [only] as a precaution as he felt something small. He is preparing for the final and I think we’ll be in good shape physically — in the shape that we must be in.”

Ronaldo missed the end of the training session after a collision with backup goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, but he did not appear to have a significant problem.

Zidane confirmed he will be without France centre-back Raphael Varane on Saturday due to his thigh injury, but James Rodriguez and Alvaro Arbeloa are set to be available after minor knocks.

“Physically we are good,” he said. “James is a bit better, Arbeloa too. The only serious problem we have is Varane, who will not be ready for Saturday. I don’t believe it is as serious as we first thought. I hope he can play at the Euros with France. It is a big blow for him.”

Zidane, who replaced Rafa Benitez as Madrid coach in January, is hoping to help the club become champions of Europe for the 11th time, but he stressed that defeat at the San Siro should not be viewed as failure.

“Failure is not doing our work, not giving our best,” Zidane said. “In a final everything can happen, for both teams. We have to prepare the game as best we can. We have had a bit of time to prepare and then let’s see what happens on Saturday.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>