Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to mark his full season debut for Real Madrid in Sunday’s Supercopa de Espana clash with Barcelona.
The Portuguese striker, having missed the whole preseason, needed just three training sessions to be ready for action. The current world’s best player featured in the dying embers of Los Blancos’ 2:1 victory over Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday.
Probably unsatisfied, Cristiano Ronaldo and another substitute in the game, Lucas Vazquez, held a personalized warm-up session at the Philip Arena after the rest of their teammates were done celebrating the night’s victory. In plain terms, last season’s UEFA Champions League top-scorer is ready for his next challenge.
🎥 VIDEO: After the celebrations, Cristiano & Vázquez went out on the pitch for some extra runs.
— SocialRMadrid (@SocialRMadrid) August 9, 2017
STREAMING OPTIONS: WHERE TO WATCH FC BARCELONA VS REAL MADRID C.F.
Watch Cristiano Ronaldo live in action on Sunday, August 13, 2017. The official live listings of selected countries below for the Supercopa de Espana are courtesy of LiveSoccerTV.com. Listed by country, alphabetically:
- Canada (Not available as per Live Soccer TV’s listings for this Barcelona-Real Madrid match)
- Ghana at 8:00 PM UTC on SuperSport 7
- India at 1:30 AM IST on SONY TEN 2 HD, Sony LIV
- Nigeria at 9:00 PM WAT on SuperSport 7, SuperSport 7 Nigeria
- Portugal at 9:00 PM WET on Sport TV2
- Spain at 10:00 PM CEST on beIN Sports Spain, Movistar+, beIN Sports Connect España, Antena 3, TV3
- UK at 9:00 PM BST on Sky Go UK, SKY GO Extra, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football, NOW TV UK
- United States at 4:00 PM EDT on ESPN3 USA, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes+ USA, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN, ESPN Deportes USA
The latest trial beckoning is one Cristiano Ronaldo will be required to utilize every firepower in his armory. There may be other big games in the season but none of it ever gets any bigger than El Clasico. Regardless of his unavailability during the preseason which some may translate as inadequate preparation, fans would expect the former Manchester United winger to fire from all cylinders when called upon by Zinedine Zidane.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) August 11, 2017
On paper, it shouldn’t be much of a great deal for the player who has already netted 16 times in 27 outings against the Catalans. The venue for Sunday’s blockbuster matchup, Camp Nou, is a very familiar terrain for Ronaldo considering he has scored 10 out of his total tally at the grounds amid frequent hostility from rival fans.
Having endured a drought in Real Madrid’s last visit to the “Mes Que Un Club” temple last season, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner will be hoping to return to scoring ways as soon as possible. That marked the second time he failed to appear on the scoresheet in a total of 10 visits to the Camp Nou. Hopefully, a different script will be drafted come August 13.
His rivals on Sunday, Barcelona, will be playing its first competitive match of the season coming at the back of five unbeaten games in the preseason. Yet, Ernesto Valverde’s side has been weakened up front having lost their marksman Neymar Jr to Paris Saint-Germain in the most bizarre transfer of this summer.
With the Copa del Rey holders yet to find a potent replacement, Real Madrid’s back-line has more or less been spared the prick of one more thorny figure. It is worth noting that the Brazilian winger contributed two assists in Barcelona’s 3:2 triumph in El Clasico Miami held in the recently ended International Champions Cup.
All-withstanding, it will be at Real Madrid’s own peril if Neymar’s absence causes them to be complacent. The 12-time European champions had to battle until the last game of the 2016/17 Spanish Primera Division campaign to clinch the title following another 3:2 defeat to their Catalan nemesis with five games remaining.
A tantalizing battle is expected to unfold. The presence of Cristiano Ronaldo and the absence of Neymar Jr could prove very decisive in this Spanish Super Cup tie.