Zinedine Zidane suggested Cristiano Ronaldo may miss the Champions League semi-final second leg but the Real Madrid star refuses to be down.
Cristiano Ronaldo was keen to spread positivity around the Real Madrid camp after he sat out Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first-leg 0-0 draw at Manchester City.
Shorn of Ronaldo, before losing the half-fit Karim Benzema at half-time, Madrid were unable to secure a precious away goal as City goalkeeper Joe Hart made a flurry of stunning late saves at the Etihad Stadium.
Ronaldo has now missed Madrid’s last two games with a hamstring injury.
He was quoted by AS before the game: “The strain is still there. I’ll wait for the next game. If it was a final, I’d give it a try.”
Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane refused to give assurances over Ronaldo’s fitness status for next week’s second leg at Santiago Bernabeu.
But Ronaldo’s message of “Never give up and be positive”, posted on Instagram after the match can be viewed as a rallying cry to his colleagues, or a suggestion of his own determination to play the home leg.
Madrid director Emilio Butragueno preached patience with the Portugal star, suggesting it made more sense to have their star man fit for the second leg and a late-season title charge in La Liga.
He told reporters: “There are two legs so we’re going to be prudent.
“The decision has been taken and I hope it all works out well. I’d also like to thank all the Real Madrid fans who have travelled to support the side.”