‘Ronaldo will be at 150% for final’ – Zidane
Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will “be at 150 per cent” for the Champions League final.Concerns regarding the Portuguese’s participation against Liverpool on 26 May were raised after he was substituted at half-time during Sunday’s draw with Barcelona having taken a knock to the ankle during the first period.
Zidane eased those fears somewhat with the news that his prized asset had only suffered a sprain, and Ronaldo himself was back at Madrid’s training ground on Monday to begin his recovery. That led to Zidane believing his top scorer would be available in Kiev while he also confirmed that he expects Dani Carvajal and Isco to be fit for the clash in Kiev.
“Everyone will be okay for the final – Cristiano, Isco and Carvajal,” the Frenchman confirmed to a press conference on Tuesday. “Cristiano is the one who will be out longest, as it just happened two days ago. But he is good, he’s walking normally. Nobody will have any problems for the final, they will all be at 150%.”
The Portuguese will definitely miss Wednesday’s clash with Sevilla and is unlikely to feature next weekend against Celta Vigo, but could make his return for the Blanco’s final Liga match of the season against Villarreal.
“We do not know when he will be back with the group, or if he will be back for Villarreal, but it would be perfect to have everyone ready for that final La Liga game,” he said.
Any hopes he had of catching Lionel Messi in the race for the Pichichi award, though, have been ended, with the 33-year-old eight strikes behind the Argentine in the race for the top scorer prize.
Carvajal, meanwhile, has been on the sidelines since injuring his hamstring in the 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of the quarter-final on April 25. He has missed Madrid’s last three matches. Similarly, Isco has missed out of Madrid’s last three outings because of a shoulder injury.
Madrid are chasing their third successive Champions League crown, having become the first team to successfully defend the prize since the new format of the competition was introduced in 1992-93. The last team to win the European Cup three times in succession was Bayern Munich between 1974-76.