Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Run Ronny, run: Cristiano Ronaldo fit to start for Real Madrid

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo during a training session in Dortmund (Reuters) Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo during a training session in Dortmund (Reuters)
Reuters | Berlin | Posted: April 8, 2014 2:28 am | Updated: April 8, 2014 12:02 pm

Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to terrorise Borussia Dortmund’s defence on Tuesday despite a niggle in his knee, and build on Real Madrid’s 3-0 first leg advantage to book a spot in the Champions League last four.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti rested the Champions League top scorer for Saturday’s 4-0 La Liga win at Real Sociedad that helped them keep pace with leaders Atletico Madrid and second-placed champions Barcelona.

The Portugal captain, who has a record-equalling 14 goals this season in Europe’s elite club competition, has complained of discomfort in his left knee but Ancelotti said he should be available for the second leg. Ronaldo made his 100th Champions League appearance in the first leg at the Bernabeu and his goal matched Lionel Messi’s single-season record set in 2011/12.

Ronaldo’s overall tally in the Champions League is 64 goals, three behind Barcelona’s Messi, and he has 54 in his last 44 outings for Real and Portugal, including five hat-tricks. Real have a slight doubt over the fitness of Gareth Bale after he sustained a small gash to his right knee in Saturday’s win 2-0 win in San Sebastian.

Ancelotti did not sound too concerned. “This victory strengthens us and we also avoided injuries and were good physically,” the Italian said. “We played very well, intelligently. We started at a very high pace and had more intensity in the second half.”

Aggressive Real

It is this fighting spirit this season that has turned things around between the Germans and the Spaniards after Dortmund ousted Real at the semi-final stage last season.

Dortmund, however, boosted their own confidence with a 2-1 comeback win over VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Klopp will have top scorer Robert Lewandowski back for the game after the Poland international sat out the first leg with a suspension. Dortmund came from a goal behind and scored twice in the second half to win against Wolfsburg with Marco Reus, who scored the winner, saying a performance like that against Real was what was needed.

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