Cristiano Ronaldo has been ruled out of Real Madrid’s domestic fixture against Real Sociedad on Saturday after injuring his knee against Borussia Dortmund.
Though Ronaldo had been nursing his right knee for quite a few weeks, he continued to play despite the injury and seems to have paid the price as he will miss Madrid’s crucial domestic fixture Real Sociedad.
Real Madrid will be visitint Real Sociedad as they stand 3 points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid and 2 points behind arch-rivals Barcelona. Having lost two domestic matches on the trot, the first to Barcelona and then to Sevilla, Real Madrid seem to have lagged behind in the race for the La Liga. They now visit 6th placed Sociedad who have shown themselves to be no push-overs this season.
With just 7 matches left in the league, Real Madrid are aware that any more points dropped will surely end their domestic campaign and hence they have to make sure they earn all 21 possible points and then hope that their competitors will falter along their way.
But Cristiano Ronaldo’s untimely injury has cast a gloomy shadow over Santiago Bernabeu as they might end up without the Portuguese’s support in the coming weeks. Real face Sociedad in a make-or-break La Liga fixture and then visit Borussia Dortmund which itself will be a tough trip away from home keeping in mind the severe thrashing they received last season. The Los Blancos are also due to face Barcelona in a couple of weeks in the Copa del Rey finals and hence Ronaldo’s niggling knee injury can serve to be a devastating blow for Real Madrid.
Ronaldo’s dedication towards the game cannot be questioned but doubts are being raised whether it was practical to play the Portuguese so rigorously and even keeping him in the starting eleven in the second leg of the pre-quarter final round of the Champions League despite leading the tie 6-1. But it seems that it was Ronaldo’s decision to continue playing in his attempt to break all records this season. The club officials however maintain that Ronaldo is being ‘rested’ to ensure that he further does not complicate his injury.
Speaking to the Press, Ancelotti believes that injuries are normal in this time of the year and has criticized the schedule for being too taxing on the players.
“It is normal to have injuries because the schedule is really tough. We played nine games in January, while teams in Germany for example have a winter break. All the Spanish teams have a busy schedule now and it is normal to have injuries.”
The Italian dismissed rumours that Ronaldo’s injury was serious and believes that the winger is raring to go and will be back next Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund.
“We will give him some rest because he’s tired and we want to avoid further risks. We have some important games, he’ll be fresher next Tuesday and will be able to handle our busy schedule. I talked to him and he agreed with the decision although he obviously wants to play every match.”
It will be interesting to see how Carlo Ancelotti will manage against Real Sociedad without both Cristiano Ronaldo and Di Maria msing from the starting eleven.
While Ronaldo has been left out from the squad, Di Maria has been called up but it remains to be seen if he will be upto his usual form after having just recovered from serious illness.
“Isco is going to play. We can switch the position of the strikers. Bale could play on the left with Di María, who is on the list, on the right. Morata could also play. I don’t think Di María will start because he’s lost some weight because of his stomach bug.”
With just 7 matches to go, the manager knows that he cannot slip up as losing the title to either Barcelona or Atletico Madrid can be disastrous for the Los Blancos after having completely revamped the structure at Real Madrid. With Ronaldo and di Maria injured, all eyes will be on Gareth Bale and it remains to be seen if the Welshman can rise up to the occasion on Saturday.