Cristiano Ronaldo has been passed fit for the second leg of Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester City, coach Zinedine Zidane has announced.
The former Manchester United forward has missed Real’s last three games – including the goalless draw in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium last week – with a thigh injury. But the Portuguese has played a full part in training ahead of Wednesday’s second clash at the Bernabeu and Zidane says he is ready to return.
Zidane said: “Cristiano is OK. He is 100 per cent. He trained this morning and he will be there tomorrow.”
Zidane delivered less optimistic news about two other key players as he confirmed both forward Karim Benzema and defensive midfielder Casemiro would miss out.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini, however, warned that stopping Real is about much more than shutting out Ronaldo.
Pellegrini said: “Cristiano will always be a different player. He scores a lot of goals and has throughout his six years here.
“However, I don’t think Real are just Cristiano Ronaldo. We must work as a team defending and attacking. It is not just against Ronaldo.”
City striker Sergio Aguero has scored 28 goals this season and Pellegrini hopes the Argentine is back to his best after being rested for the weekend loss at Southampton.
Pellegrini said: “I always say these kind of games are decided by the best technical players. We have Sergio and I am sure we will see him in a good performance.”
Pellegrini also intends to play the same free-spirited way that has seen City claim good results away at Borussia Monchengladbach, Sevilla, Dynamo Kiev and PSG.
He said: “ “We will continue trying to play in exactly the same way. The pressure in the Bernabeu is high but I think we have the personality and the football to try to beat them. Everyone must trust in their team. We trust in ours and I hope we can demonstrate it in the 90 minutes.”