Football: Cristiano Ronaldo steps up training ahead of City return

Cristiano Ronaldo (second from left) at a training session with his team mates at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, on April 25, 2016.
Cristiano Ronaldo (second from left) at a training session with his team mates at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, on April 25, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Cristiano Ronaldo's chances of facing Manchester City in the second leg of Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final on Wednesday were boosted as the Portuguese took a full part in training on Monday.

The forward has missed Real's last three games due to a thigh injury, but is expected to return against City with the tie finely balanced at 0-0.

French striker Karim Benzema also stepped up his recovery from a hamstring strain picked up in the first leg in the hope of being fit to face the English side.

"Ronaldo and (Alvaro) Arbeloa completed the session with the group while Benzema was out running alone on the pitch," Madrid said in a statement on Monday.

Ronaldo has been in blistering form in the Champions League this season, scoring 16 goals in 10 appearances, including a hat-trick in the second leg of their quarter-final with Wolfsburg to overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

However, he expects another tight match against City if Madrid are to make it to their 14th European Cup final.

"If Manchester City have made it to the semi-finals, it's because they're an excellent team," he told Madrid's website. "Knocking out PSG is not an easy task, but they managed to do it (in the quarter-finals). They are a team with very few weaknesses."