Real Madrid Ronaldo return eases Zidane's striker shortage

Ronaldo has been suspended for Real's last four games after pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup.

  • Published:
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas attend a training session in Madrid on September 12, 2017, the eve of their Champions League Group H match against Apoel FC play

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas attend a training session in Madrid on September 12, 2017, the eve of their Champions League Group H match against Apoel FC

(AFP)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has underlined the importance of welcoming back World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo for the holders Champions League opener against APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday.

Ronaldo has been suspended for Real's last four games after pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup and has been badly missed as the European champions have been held at home by Valencia and Levante in their last two outings.

"He doesn't just bring goals," said Zidane on Tuesday.

"He is an important player in the squad, he is a leader. He always wants to win and he transmits that to the rest.

"Every time he is with us, I as a coach and the rest of the players are happy."

Ronaldo's absence has been felt even more acutely due to Madrid's surprising shortage of striking options.

Real failed to replace Alvaro Morata following his £70 million ($91 million, 78 million euros) switch to Chelsea as they missed out to Paris Saint-Germain for French wonder kid Kylian Mbappe.

Mariano Diaz has also enjoyed a stunning start in France after being allowed to leave for Lyon.

And with Karim Benzema sidelined for a month, 20-year-old Borja Mayoral is the only natural centre-forward available to Zidane.

"When you look at the players we had like Morata and Mariano and you look now and there is only Mayoral, you could think we lack a number nine," admitted Zidane.

"I would have liked Morata to stay, but you have to understand that he wanted to leave to play more and we respect that."

Zidane will also be able to recall Keylor Navas, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Isco and Gareth Bale after they were all rested from the start against Levante at the weekend.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Let Me Die! How Countryman Songo mourned KABA in the middle of the...bullet
2 Business-Minded Players Asamoah Gyan and 6 other Ghanaian players who...bullet
3 CAF Confederation Cup Nii Adjei powers TP Mazembe to victory in finalbullet
4 FIFA U20 World Cup Qualifiers Black Princess thump Kenya 5-1bullet
5 Football Mourinho delighted by "emotional" Ibrahimovic returnbullet
6 Premier League Andre Ayew angry to have missed West Ham’s...bullet
7 Video Arsene Wenger came to Ghana to buy me- Dong Borteybullet
8 Black Stars Coach Kwesi Appiah to invest in a solar...bullet
9 Football Manchester United ready to reel in City:...bullet
10 Black Starlets Sports Ministry to review cash reward...bullet

Top Videos

1 Video Andre Ayew’s screamer wins Premier League Goal for Octoberbullet
2 Video This sumptuous Ayew’s goal nominated for goal of the month awardbullet
3 Video Ghanaians will forever love Junior Agogo for this goalbullet
4 Video Watch Ghanaian youngster's brace for Arsenalbullet
5 Video Watch Andre Ayew's brace against Tottenhambullet
6 Video Highlights of former Ghana and Ajax midfielder who...bullet
7 Video Watch how France whipped Ghana 8-0 on Mondaybullet
8 Video Ex-Manchester United defender shown red for kicking fanbullet
9 Video Ghana beat Brazil to win historic U-20 World Cupbullet
10 Video This how Egypt beat Congo to qualify ahead of Ghanabullet

Football