Cristiano Ronaldo is “a bit worried” about his injured ankle, casting into doubt his fitness for the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 26, Yahoo News is reporting.
During the final Clasico (the Barcelona-Real Madrid matchup) of the 2017-18 season on Sunday, Ronaldo scored Real Madrid’s first goal of the game – an equalizer after Barcelona lit up the scoreboard – in the 14th minute. Tony Kroos broke through Barcelona’s weak midfield and got the ball to Karim Benzema. Benzema then somehow got it in the general direction of the goal, where Ronaldo was there waiting to head it in.
Unfortunately for the Portuguese soccer star, when he came down from his jump, he landed awkwardly on his right ankle, twisting it in the process. Ronaldo limped around for a few seconds and then gamely played on until halftime, even having a couple of further scoring chances. However, at halftime, he was pulled from the game, with Marco Asensio sent in to take his place.
Barcelona and Real Madrid ended the game with a 2-2 draw.
With two weeks remaining in La Liga’s season, Barcelona is unbeatable in points and will finish the season as champions, regardless of what happens in the next two weeks. That’s just fine for Real Madrid – though as of this writing, they’re looking at a third- or fourth- place finish in Spain’s top league, they’re focused on bigger things. Specifically, they’ve got their sights on Liverpool and the Champions League final in three weeks.
Gareth Bale rescues a 2-2 Clásico draw for Real Madrid at ten-man Barcelona – after Cristiano Ronaldo went off at half-time with an ankle sprain.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 6, 2018
So will Ronaldo – and his ankle – be up for the potentially career-defining match?
Probably, says coach Zinedine Zidane.
“It’s a small thing. He is a bit worried, right now the ankle is a bit swollen, but he said it is not so bad.”
In fact, by all accounts, the decision to pull Ronaldo from the Clasico was a precautionary measure. The game was mostly symbolic, the outcome of La Liga having already been determined by the arithmetic. Thus, there was no reason to risk a star player’s health on a platitude.
All eyes in Europe now turn towards Kiev, Ukraine, where the biggest tournament in European soccer concludes on Saturday, May 26, at 9:45 p.m. Kiev time (2:45 p.m. Eastern Time). Real Madrid is the current title-holder, having won last year; Liverpool, meanwhile, has won five times in the tournament’s history.