Home / sports / Zidane hopeful Ronaldo will be fit for Champions League final

Zidane hopeful Ronaldo will be fit for Champions League final

105856BARCELONA – Zinedine Zidane is optimistic Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit for the Champions League final against Liverpool despite Real Madrid’s star player going off injured against Barcelona on Sunday, reports BSS.

Ronaldo appeared to sustain a knock to his ankle as he bundled home a 14th- minute equaliser for Real at the Camp Nou. The striker played on until half- time but was substituted during the interval.

Real went on to secure a 2-2 draw without Ronaldo, as Gareth Bale struck in the 72nd minute after Lionel Messi’s superb individual effort put 10-man Barca ahead.

Sergi Roberto had been sent off at the end of the first period after Luis Suarez opened the scoring in a pulsating, and highly controversial, Clasico.

But Ronaldo’s injury will be the key talking point, with the Portugese now facing a fight to recover in time for the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 26.

“How long he will need I cannot tell you but for him, it is a small problem,” Zidane said afterwards.

“We’ll see tomorrow after the tests, what we have to do is see the damage done to the ankle. He is a little worried because his ankle is a bit swollen but he said it was only minor.”

Ronaldo’s injury, coupled with Barcelona avoiding defeat despite playing half the contest with 10 men, meant it was the Catalans who left the more satisfied.

Ernesto Valverde’s men are now three matches away from becoming the first ever team to finish a 38-match La Liga season unbeaten.

“It would have hurt to lose to Madrid, or any other team,” Valverde said. “I think we are the only unbeaten team in Europe in the big leagues and that is something that pushes us.”

Bale’s goal was his 15th in 24 games this year and the Welshman will hope it sparks a return to favour ahead of Real’s European climax in Kiev.

But Bale was lucky still to be on the pitch after he stabbed his studs into the back of Samuel Umtiti’s calf, moments before Sergi was sent off.

It was one of a number of questionable decisions from referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez, as both teams departed wondering what might have been.

As well as Bale’s reckless challenge, Suarez fouled Raphael Varane in the build-up to Messi’s goal while Marcelo should have had a late penalty after he was brought down by Jordi Alba.

“Next year it will change with VAR,” Zidane said. “Then we will see what a match like that will look like.”

Valverde added: “It was clearly a difficult match to referee. I am not sure about the red card for Sergi Roberto, he might have raised his hand but I do not think it was worthy of a red, maybe because I know him.”

The thrilling nature of the match meant Andres Iniesta’s last Clasico before leaving Barcelona at the end of the season was reduced to a footnote. The Spaniard went off to a standing ovation in the second half.

“I am doing everything possible so I can play these last few games and try to absorb them,” Iniesta told Barca TV.

“Three matches remain, they are the last ones, it seems that the end never comes but we have won the league already and I will try to enjoy every minute.”

More from my site

Source

messi-strike-helps-10-man-barca-earn-draw-as-ronaldo-goes-off-injured-620x400BARCELONA – Lionel Messi weaved his magic to keep 10-man Barcelona’s unbeaten season alive as a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou on Sunday left Real Madrid sweating over an injury to Cristiano Ronaldo, reports BSS.

Ronaldo was forced off at half-time after appearing to hurt his ankle and Real will be hoping their star striker can now recover in time for the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 26.

“It’s a small thing,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane said afterwards. “He is a bit worried, right now the ankle is a bit swollen, but he said it is not so bad.”

Gerard Pique’s challenge had come as Ronaldo cancelled out Luis Suarez’s opener before Sergi Roberto was sent off on the stroke of half-time for an altercation with Real defender Marcelo.

Barca, however, took the lead in the second half as Messi scored a brilliant individual goal only for Gareth Bale, who could earlier have been sent off, to have the last word in a thrilling Clasico, his emphatic strike earning Real a deserved draw.

After initially taking treatment, Ronaldo played on for 31 minutes here before Zidane decided to substitute him at half-time, which may at least offer Real encouragement.

“It’s just the movement, tomorrow we’ll see,” Zidane told Movistar. “The Champions League final? We’re going to do everything to make it.”

Fears this meeting, which meant little in terms of the table, might lack intensity proved well wide of the mark as a pulsating contest, littered with controversy, could have been won at either end right up until the final whistle.

Ronaldo’s injury, however, coupled with Barcelona avoiding defeat, despite playing a man down for the whole of the second half, meant the Catalans departed the happier side.

Ernesto Valverde’s men, already crowned champions, are now three matches away from becoming the first team ever to finish a 38-game La Liga season unbeaten.

Andres Iniesta overcame, or perhaps ignored, a niggling calf problem to play his 38th and final Clasico while Philippe Coutinho was picked to start his first. Iniesta went off to a standing ovation in the second half.

Barca exploded out of the blocks and they were ahead within 10 minutes. Suarez swept the ball out to the right where Sergi ignored Messi’s run to the near post and returned the cross deep to Suarez. He finished into the bottom corner.

– Equaliser comes at a cost –

The lead, however, lasted four minutes. Just as Suarez initiated his goal, so did Ronaldo, a neat backheel freeing Toni Kroos, who found Karim Benzema at the back post. The Frenchman was cool enough to head back into the six- yard box, where Ronaldo bundled home.

Ronaldo took treatment but was able temporarily to continue and could twice have given Real the lead. His first shot was saved by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, the second fired wide of the far post.

In between, Messi had played in Jordi Alba with a sumptuous ball over the top but even he lost his cool during five mad minutes at the end of the first period.

Suarez felt he had been elbowed by Sergio Ramos, prompting the first round of scuffles, before Messi was booked for flying into the defender on the touchline.

Bale was then lucky not to be sent off for stabbing his studs into Samuel Umtiti’s calf and moments later Sergi did see red, as he threw a hand into the face of Marcelo.

The home fans were raging as the half-time whistle blew but, with Marco Asensio on for Ronaldo, they were celebrating eight minutes after the restart.

Suarez’s blatant kick on Raphael Varane went unpunished and from there it was all about Messi. He skipped away first from Ramos, and then Casemiro, before firing into the bottom corner.

Even Zidane was smiling on the touchline.

Real struggled to capitalise on their one-man advantage until the 72nd minute, when Bale raced onto Asensio’s pass and whipped the ball first-time into the top corner. It was the Welshman’s 15th goal in 24 matches this year.

Real should have had a late penalty when Alba cleared out Marcelo but referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez somehow decided the challenge was clean. It was the final controversy of a surprisingly heated derby.

More from my site

Source

Share this post :
Share

Leave a Reply

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

*

x

Check Also

JFA cup U-14 women football begins tomorrow

DHAKA – The JFA U-14 Women’s National Football Championship, financed by Japan ...