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Ronaldo being rested is crucial for Real Madrid’s European dream
- Updated: April 9, 2018
The Madrid derby came and went, and once again, the goal hound Cristiano Ronaldo was on song as he scored the opener in the game, a well taken volley off a cross from Gareth Bale. However, Frenchman Antoine Griezmann restored parity for the Wanda Metropolitano rivals who eventually stole a point from the Santiago Bernabeu, and seemingly look good to finish ahead of Real Madrid FC this season.
One major high point of the game, that may have taken fans and rivals unawares was when Cristiano Ronaldo’s number was spotted in red in the fourth official’s electronic board when the game was evenly poised at 1:1. There was sudden silence from the crowd in the Bernabeu, not in this crucial stage of the Madrid derby? No one saw it coming.
Zidane replaced Ronaldo with Karim Benzema in the 64th minute, when there was still more to play for. This was a strange sight as the Frenchman has put measures in place to ensure that Cristiano Ronaldo performs at his optimum physical best when on the pitch regardless of his age. The sub could also be a pointer that Zidane has given up on attaining any significant feat on the domestic stage this season.
It was a no-brainer at that instant that the Portuguese star was being rested ahead of Real Madrid’s welcome of Juventus to the Santiago Bernabeu, despite bringing a 3 goal aggregate lead back to the Bernabeu. His removal from the game affected the quality of the game as both sides settled for a draw. Meanwhile, after the game, when questioned, Zidane responded:
“Cristiano is Cristiano, he has been this player all his life, scoring 50 goals a season. It is true that there is nobody else who does that,” said Zidane after the game.
“But others can score, have done recently, and we must think about the positives. It’s better to have Cristiano with us.
“It was just (to rest him). We have many games, that’s it. Sometimes he needs to rest. These days he needs that. He feels better every day, you can see it.”
Ronaldo’s goal against Atletico was his 24h in his last 13 games in all competitions, whilst stretching his run of scoring consecutively to 10.
It’s obvious that Real Madrid’s possible success in the ongoing UEFA Champions League will be down to Ronaldo’s goal scoring form, as there is no significant laurel to play for domestically. Real Madrid depend on Ronaldo’s goals, and Zinedine Zidane, not being ignorant of this fact has decided to manage his star man in the best way possible, as he has played no part in some full home games. Ronaldo was left out of trips to Espanyol, Las Palmas and Leganes.
Ronaldo has been subbed off 5 times since the mid season break, as the coach looks to keep him in good condition as they look towards the defence of their UCL title. Recall that Ronaldo’s 2 goals got Real Madrid on the way to a 3 nil UCL quarter final first leg win over Juventus in Turin.