Real Madrid star has minor injury, admits coach Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti admits that Cristiano Ronaldo has “a slight niggle”, but insists that he will start for Real Madrid against Rayo Vallecano.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be rested for his side’s clash against Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Saturday.

The 29-year-old forward picked up a knee injury during Los Blancos’ Champions League last-16 second-leg clash against Schalke at the Santiago Bernabeu last week.

However, the Portugal international started Real’s league games against Barcelona last weekend and Sevilla in midweek, both of which ended in defeats for them.

Ancelotti has admitted that Ronaldo has a “slight niggle”, but insists that he will start against Rayo.

“He has a slight niggle, but it will not affect him at all,” the Italian told reporters on Friday.

“He is training normally and treating it. He will play tomorrow. Today he trained well and he has no problem whatsoever. He doesn't need to rest now because he is handling the problem well.

“He is confident and does not let these things get him down. If things improve, we will rest him, but now all of us and the player are very relaxed. It is a small problem that will be resolved with treatment.”

Real will head into the contest placed third in the league table with 70 points from 30 matches, three points off the pace.

Leaders Atletico Madrid and second-placed Barcelona both are in action on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol respectively.

Prior to the Clasico last weekend, Real had gone 31 matches undefeated, but now they have to recover from back-to-back defeats.

“We have not lost our hard work in these four days because we have done that well, what we have lost is the fact that the league depended on us,” said the 54-year-old. “We are still confident because the defeats were not due to a problem in our game.

“We have conceded six goals and that means that we made mistakes that we have to avoid because now mistakes are expensive. We need to concentrate more.

“La Liga will be decided on the last matchday. We're behind now, but we'll keep fighting to win the league until the final match. We'll certainly need more than 90 points to do it.”

Yet, one can’t help but feel that Real’s fight to reclaim the title will be lost this weekend if they slip up against Rayo at the Bernabeu and their two main rivals both pick up wins.

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