Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ronaldo fit and ready for Champions League

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BARCELONA – Cristiano Ronaldo says he will be “100 per cent” in Saturday’s Champions League final as he attempts to fire Real Madrid to a record-extending 11th European Cup and further torment their city rivals, Atletico.

The prolific Portuguese set alarm bells ringing on Tuesday when he ended training prematurely with a knock but was fit to train again the following day.

Although Ronaldo scored the final goal in Real’s 4-1 extra-time win over Atletico in the 2014 final in Lisbon, he has admitted he was far from at his best due to a hamstring problem and is determined to put in a better performance at Milan’s San Siro on Saturday.

“Cristiano always appears in the games that matter. I’ll be at 100 per cent. On Saturday, I’ll be in better form than I was in Lisbon,” Ronaldo told Spanish television channel La Sexta.

“In Lisbon, my hamstring was hurting me. It was pretty bad. It was terrible because you know that in certain moments you could give more but you can’ because your body doesn’t respond.”

Ronaldo has scored – and been on the winning side – in both the Champions League finals he has played in, having also won in 2008 with Manchester United.

He is top scorer in this season’s tournament with 16 goals and is one strike away from equalling the record tally of 17 he set in 2013/14.

Real’s all-time top scorer also gave the club a lift before the final by declaring he wants to stay at Real for the long term.

“Real Madrid would be making a smart decision if they offered me a new contract,” he added.

Zinedine Zidane’s men are without defenders Raphael Varane and Alvaro Arbeloa for the game, while Atletico have a clean bill of health. (Reuters)

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