Much to the horror of Santiago Bernabeu loyalists, Cristiano Ronaldo limped off against Almeria last weekend showing that the goal-scoring machine is, at the end of the day, only human. Falling prey to a hamstring-injury, Ronaldo limped off during the second half of the away fixture though media reports suggest that the injury is not serious.
Explaining the injury and his substitution later, the Portuguese dismissed it as ‘nothing serious’ and is now focusing on making his return to the football pitch.
It was just a precaution, It’s nothing special. I got kicked in the first half and the muscle felt a bit sore.
At the height of his career, Ronaldo will be itching to get his boots back on lest he loses his goal-scoring form. In contention for the Ballon d’Or, he knows very well that he must maintain his goal-scoring record to further prove his candidature for the golden ball.
But reports from the Spanish capital suggest that the Portuguese super-star will be rested in the up-coming Champions League fixture in order to provide him with an adequate resting period. On the brink of smashing another record, Ronaldo will be upset to miss the fixture against Galatasary, especially since he has a good goal-scoring record in the Champions League fixtures.
On the other hand, Carlo Ancelotti will be taking no chances with his star winger, especially since Madrid’s title aspirations rest solely on his shoulders. At the same time, it will also give the Italian an opportunity to prepare a team that does not revolve around the Portuguese winger. With plenty of options in the midfield, it will be interesting to see how Ancelotti shapes up the side with Ronaldo sitting out the fixture. With Di Maria flirting with injury himself, the onus will be upon Bale and the youngsters to prove their mettle and show the manager that the team is capable of getting the job done without their talismanic goal-scorer. It will also give the manager to prepare the team for a future without Ronaldo given the rumours that do the round. Though he has extended his contract at Bernabeu, nothing can be said about Ronaldo at this juncture in her career.
It remains to be seen how Ronaldo recovers from this injury. A thoroughly determined professional, the Portuguese will be leaving no stone unturned to return to the game at the earliest. And more importantly, it will be interesting to see Real Madrid line up without their star player. Will they be as vulnerable without him as they were last season, where they often failed to put forward a strong attack without their leading goal-scorer or will Real Madrid finally step out of his shadow?