Carlo Ancelotti: Cristiano Ronaldo is fine
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says Cristiano Ronaldo may play in Saturday’s La Liga game at home to Almeria, despite the attacker not being deemed fit enough to come off the bench in Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund.
Ronaldo currently has a tendonitis issue in his left knee and missed the weekend’s 4-0 La Liga win at Real Sociedad, but he did travel to Dortmund for Tuesday’s game and was named among the substitutes.
Although Madrid endured a tense evening at the Westfalenstadion, the Portugal international was left on the bench as his side ultimately eliminated Dortmund with a 3-2 aggregate win, but Ancelotti insisted at his postmatch news conference that Ronaldo did not have a major fitness problem.
“Cristiano was fine. We didn't want to risk him because of the intensity of the tie, and we didn't have to,” Ancelotti said. “Hopefully he's better soon and he is ready for the semifinal. It's not a big problem because, if it were, he wouldn't have been on the bench. He has time to recover and could play on Saturday.”
Ronaldo’s goal in last week’s first leg was his 14th in the competition this season, equalling the record tally in any season in the competition. Madrid club captain Iker Casillas told UEFA.com that not having their top scorer on the pitch had been a significant problem.
“The absence of Cristiano Ronaldo had a lot to do with our defeat -- he's one of our best players,” the goalkeeper said. “Some people say he's 80 percent of our team, but I'd go as far as to say he's the player who makes the difference for us. He probably would have tonight, if he'd played.”
Madrid are currently third in the league table, three points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, and two adrift of second placed Barcelona, with six games remaining.
Ancelotti’s side face Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday April 16 at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, where Ronaldo had headed the winner in the 2011 cup final between the two teams.