Portuguese International Cristiano Ronaldo trained away from the rest of the Real Madrid squad on Wednesday with reports suggesting a fitness fear for the striker.
The two sides meet for the first time in the league this season, on Saturday for an afternoon kick-off. Los Blancos host the visiting Catalan side at Santiago Bernabeu with the home side requiring the three points.
Real Madrid trails their arch-rivals Barcelona by 11 points, with the Whites having a game in hand. Their star player, however, is down with a slight calf problem in the Club World Cup final against Gremio.
It was incidentally, Ronaldo who scored the winning goal for the Spanish side against the Brazilian opponents. The Portuguese striker continued to play with the injury, with a sight to the crucial La Liga encounter against Barcelona.
What did Ronaldo say?
“I had some problems in my calf,” he said, quoted in Spanish daily Sport. “But I am sure I will be OK,” he added.
However, the reports from the club confirmed that on Wednesday Ronaldo had not trained with the rest of the squad.
“The Whites continued to fine-tune details ahead of Saturday’s game against Barcelona (1 pm CET), where they will look to end the five-title winning year with a victory in front of their fans.
Zidane has called up three academy players:
Real Madrid’s coach Zidane called up academy players Tejero, Moha and Altube for the session. The main focus for the team is doing ball work with high intensity ahead of the high-voltage encounter. Karim Benzema too joined the team as they carried out different possession and pressing exercise.
“Cristiano Ronaldo worked separately from the group, while Luca also trained alone out on the pitch as he continues his recovery process.” the club concluded in their statement.
Without Ronaldo, it would be a difficult task for the hosts to overcome the in-form Barcelona side, who are unbeaten in the league thus far.