With Real Madrid drawn against reigning European champions Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals on Friday, they’ll need all of their star players to get past the German powerhouses.
Cristiano Ronaldo is top of that list.
However the Portuguese winger, who is the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, has been struggling with complications in a hamstring injury which saw he suffered against Borussia Dortmund last week and the situation has been complicated by further issues.
Speaking in his Friday press conference, Real’s head coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Ronaldo will miss the match against Almeria this weekend but is still hopeful that Ronaldo will be fit for the Copa Del Rey final against bitter rivals Barcelona on April 16.
“He’s not available for the game tomorrow. He was initially injured against Borussia Dortmund, then later he aggravated it again warming up in training,” Ancelotti said. “I don’t know yet if he’ll be available for the Copa del Rey final. We’ll have to wait a couple of days and he’s having treatment. I’ve spoken with him and he’s not happy about it. I think that we may have him back for the final, but we’re not going to take any risks. If he’s not right, he won’t play. He has a small tendon injury that he suffered against Dortmund in the first-leg. That has also complicated the muscle injury. We think there’s a possibility of him playing in the final of the Copa del Rey, as it isn’t a serious injury. We’re not going to take risks though and we’ll let him recover.”
Ronaldo, 29, has been in sensational form for club and country once again this season with 49 goals in 39 games. But with Bayern coming up, Real will now wrap their star player in cotton wool. If Madrid have serious ambitions of getting past Bayern and reaching the Champions League final for the first time since 2003, then Ronaldo must be fully fit. End of.
With him on board, Real are capable of beating anyone, without him, Europe’s elite will find it so much easier to down the Spanish giants. With Ronaldo’s fitness in doubt for the Copa del Rey final, which takes place a week before the UCL semifinal first leg vs. Bayern, it is now a race against time for Ronaldo to get back to full fitness. He is one of those players that thrives from his superior athleticism and if he’s not at his peak, you can tell straight away.
Real will be hoping a fully fit Ronaldo is back scoring, strutting and smashing goals in by the time their UCL semi with Bayern rolls around. But after Ancelotti’s comments, it seems like it’s a race against time.