Coach Zinedine Zidane has decided to leave out Cristiano Ronaldo after an erratic display over the weekend.
Real Madrid travel to face third-tier side Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa in their first cup game of the season. Ideally, many Ronaldo fanboys and girls would love to see their man go on a goal mauling against such minnows; this relatively easy match could present out-of-shape Cristiano with a chance to send a strong message to his doubters. However, Zidane thinks otherwise.
The forward’s omission isn’t actually a punishment for his performance against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday during which he missed two clear-cut goal scoring opportunities. As a result of his inefficiency, Los Blancos’ all-time topscorer was booed by some sections of the home crowd. Being rested for the midweek trip in Leon means that Cristiano Ronaldo can use this period to unplug, re-assess himself and recapture the form we all know him by.
Enjoying some sunshine to recharge his batteries: Ronaldo’s only social media post as of now, since Sunday’s poor game against Bilbao
Real Madrid’s manager, Zinedine Zidane, addressed the situation ahead of their game. The Frenchman recalled a time during his playing days when he also was struggling to get the support of Madridistas.
“On one hand, I do not understand it [the boos] but at the same time I do. They whistled me as a player,” the Real Madrid boss stated during the pre-match press conference.
“The fans demand a lot of players. The Bernabeu is special and we know it. Cristiano knows it and he is used to it. The important thing is to continue with our work and we know the importance of our fans.”
RONALDO’S LAST 4 HOME GAMES
— CRonaldoDaily.com (@BreatheRonaldo) October 24, 2016
“I have not spoken with Cristiano about anything in particular. I prefer that he always scores two or three goals a game but I’m not worried.
“He is not scoring the chances that he’s getting at the moment but the important thing is that he’s getting chances. He’ll score soon and everyone will relax,” the manager reassured.
Ronaldo has managed to score just four times in all competitions this season, which obviously is below a mediocre output by his high standards.
Real Madrid will be without most of their regular starters on Wednesday, as Zidane wants to rotate his squad and give some fringe players a run. The BBC, goalkeeper Keylor Navas and Marcelo are among the players not making the trip to Leon.
The likes of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos are still recuperating injuries. Left-back Fabio Coentrao has recovered and will most likely feature in the game.
Real Madrid’s 16-man squad to face Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa: