Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit for the Champions League final against Liverpool in a week’s time, says manager Zinedine Zidane.
Ronaldo, 33, has not played since spraining his ankle during the El Clasico draw with Barcelona earlier this month but could feature against Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday.
Real will attempt to win their third straight Champions League title when they meet Liverpool in Kiev on 26 May.”Right now he is 120%,” said Zidane.”He is fine. If Cristiano is 120% that’s fine with me.”
Zidane added Ronaldo, who will captain Portugal at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, is available for the match at Villarreal as Real try to finish second behind rivals Barcelona.They are currently three points behind Europa League winners Atletico Madrid, who face Eibar on Sunday, but have a far superior goal difference.
Gareth Bale scored twice in a 6-0 thrashing of Celta Vigo on Saturday and got the equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Barcelona, but Zidane would not be drawn on whether the Wales forward had played himself into contention to start in Kiev.”You can say he’s playing better because of the goals he has scored, but he has been training well,” Zidane said.”The most important thing is to see everyone in good physical shape. That’s what I care about.”
Former France and Real Madrid midfielder Zidane, 45, said it would be “huge” for his side to win the Champions League for a third consecutive year, which would see him join Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley as the only manager to win three European titles.
Ancelotti won the 2003 and 2007 titles with AC Milan before leading Real Madrid to the 2014 trophy, while Paisley won the European Cup with Liverpool in 1977, 1978 and 1981.
“It would mean a lot of things,” said Zidane. “It would mean we have been doing our job well and that my message has been getting through to the players and the staff.”It’s great to start my managerial career at this level but for me the most important final of the Champions League is this one, not the last one. We have to give it everything.”
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