Ronaldo assures he's fit for Champs League final

MADRID • Cristiano Ronaldo played down fears over his fitness ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League football final against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, after the three-time World Player of the Year limped off towards the end of training yesterday.

"I am fine. I had a little problem in training, a dead leg as they say here, but tomorrow or the next day I will be fine," said the Portuguese, who has been dogged by a persistent thigh injury which forced him to miss three games last month.

Ronaldo will be aiming to break his own record of 17 Champions League goals in a season in Milan, having already netted 16 in the competition so far this campaign.

His 17th two years ago came in the final against Atletico as Real ran out 4-1 winners after extra-time.

"It would be nice to equal or even pass the record, but I am not obsessed with that because the most important thing is to win," he said.

And Ronaldo insisted Real will show that they are the kings of the Spanish capital once more, despite winning just once in 10 games against Atletico since lifting their 10th European Cup in Lisbon.

"I think Real are better than Atletico, but we have to show it on the pitch," he said.

To do so Real must break down a rock solid Atletico defence that has kept 35 clean sheets in 56 games this season, including shut-outs at home to Barcelona and Bayern Munich in dumping the Spanish and German champions out at the quarter-final and semi-final stages respectively.

Atletico also managed a 1-0 win at Real's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to inflict Real manager Zinedine Zidane's only La Liga defeat in four months in charge, when the sides last met in February.

"It will be a difficult game because we are playing against a team that doesn't just defend well," he said. "They are a complete team. They can also cause you problems playing with the ball."

The Frenchman confirmed that Ronaldo did not play in a practice match last Saturday as a precaution, but expects him to be fully fit for the final. "He will be ready for Saturday and I think we are in good shape physically," Zidane said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Ronaldo assures he's fit for Champs League final'. Print Edition | Subscribe