Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE
Zinedine Zidane believes Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to play for Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Zidane also said on Tuesday that Mohamed Salah deserves great credit for Liverpool’s surprise run in Europe but insisted the match in Kiev will not be a contest of the Egyptian against Ronaldo.
Ronaldo was forced off at half-time of Sunday’s Clasico between Real and Barcelona, which ended 2-2 at the Camp Nou, and Zidane has confirmed the Portuguese sprained his ankle.
There were fears the injury could affect Ronaldo’s chances of facing Liverpool on May 26 but Zidane is confident his star player will recover, along with fellow absentees Isco and Dani Carvajal.
“I think they will all be fine for the final – Cristiano, Isco, Carvajal,” Zidane said.
“The one more injured is Cristiano because it has just happened but it is going well, he is walking normally and he will be fine.”
Ronaldo was hurt during a collision with Gerard Pique just as he bundled in Real’s equaliser against Barcelona.
He played on for 31 minutes until the interval but did not emerge for the second half.
“It is a sprain, but there is no particular damage on the fibula, it is a small sprain and his ankle is stable,” Zidane said.
“Ronaldo, in terms of his injury, is incredible, that’s what he has this guy, he is already on the ground, walking, and feeling positive 48 hours later.
“Even if we do not know when he will resume with the team, the fact that he is already there 48 hours after shows his commitment, his desire to always want to play.”
Real visit Sevilla in La Liga on Wednesday but with the title race settled and their place in the top four safe, the key now is to avoid any further injury scares.
Liverpool, still battling for Champions League qualification in the Premier League, will not have the luxury of resting star players like Salah, who is considered key to them beating Real.
“Salah had a great season and I think he deserves a lot of credit for Liverpool being in the final, that’s for sure,” Zidane said.
“But in the end, I don’t like to call this a match of Cristiano against Salah. It will be Madrid against Liverpool, as always, that is the most important thing.”