Sergio Ramos says that a long season of attrition has had an effect on Cristiano Ronaldo, but it would still be difficult for the attacker to rest his troublesome knee this weekend given Real Madrid’s precarious position in the La Liga title race.
Ronaldo scored his 45th goal in his 41st game of the 2013-14 season for Madrid in Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win over Borussia Dortmund, before leaving the field late on due to an issue with his left knee which has been troubling him in recent weeks.
Ramos told AS after that game that not everyone appreciated the effort that the Portuguese -- who was whistled by his own team’s fans despite scoring in last weekend’s 5-0 win over Rayo Vallecano -- put in game after game.
“The fans do not appreciate that every three days there is a match and that takes a toll on us,” the Spain defender said. “[Ronaldo] is a bull, he withstands it all. It is difficult to hold him back, with what we have.”
Speaking after Wednesday’s game Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti suggested Ronaldo’s issue was not serious and would not need to be rested to allow the knee to recover, meaning it is likely the 29-year-old will start in Saturday’s La Liga game at Real Sociedad.
Given Los Blancos have recently slipped to third place in the domestic table, three points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid, Ramos said his team would have to go to Anoeta at full strength to ensure the best chance of a win.
“I do not want to get into it, but I would say that we cannot afford to drop any more points at all,” he said.
Ramos also suggested his team would be taking next Tuesday’s second leg in Dortmund seriously, even with their three goal advantage from the first game.
“We should leave the result aside,” he said. “You cannot be over confident because we have the very bad experience from last year [when Madrid were beaten 4-1]. We must go there with a mentality that it is 0-0 and then go for the game. We hope to be in the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year.”