Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Real Madrid lost a little luster this morning after Real boss Carlo Ancelotti revealed what had been suspected: Cristiano Ronaldo will not feature in the cup final.
Ancelotti had previously said that Ronaldo could play in the match despite the ailments that kept him from competing this weekend in league play.
Ronaldo, 29, has knee and thigh problems, and Real doesn’t want to risk problems with its megastar. Ancelotti said there was nothing they could’ve done differently to help avoid the injury for Real, still very much alive in the race for La Liga’s No. 1 slot.
“Cristiano did not rest because there was no need,” he said.
“There was no situation we saw that suggested he was tired and if he had been tired he would not have played. He has a problem that many players have at this stage of the season.
“We protect Cristiano in the same way we try to protect all the players as much as possible. It could be a risk playing him and we are not going to take that risk as there are very important games still to come.”
This is certainly good news for Barca’s lack of depth at center back. Atletico won last year’s edition, with Barca topping the tourney in 2012 and Real claiming the crown in 2011. Who do you have winning the Copa del Rey?