‘Cristiano is key, but…’

Diego Lopez has reflected that whilst Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘decisive’ for Real Madrid, they demonstrated at the weekend they can manage without him.

The Portuguese is set to miss Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Galatasaray after picking up a hamstring injury during Madrid’s 5-0 win at Almeria on Saturday night.

However, for their current No 1, the 28-year-old’s enforced absence is not a major concern.

“It is undeniable that he is a player who is more decisive,” began Diego Lopez to reporters today.

“He is key, but on Saturday when he retired from the game, we were then able to thrash Almeria. In the team there are other capable people, but we will miss him.

“He knows his body well. He noticed something and then realised that he had to stop. Hopefully his injury is nothing serious and he will be with us again soon.

“I’m not a doctor, though, and they are the ones that have to give notification. I see him as very lively. He is very professional.

“He always wants to play, but a break can also come in handy.”

Lopez was talking to the Press this week after receiving the Premio Vieira de Plata 2013, an award that ‘recognises the work of Galician institutions and individuals’.

The 32-year-old has successfully kept Iker Casillas out of the Real Madrid team in La Liga, but cedes his place for Champions League and Cup games.

“There is a person who is the Coach, who decides on the starting XI for every match. Those who play will give their best and the others will be there as support and be prepared for any incident.

“Throughout my career I have been through times when I have not played and been eager to play in every game.

“On Sunday, Tuesday, during training workouts. We all want to play, but we have to respect the Coach’s decision.”

Tags Diego Lopez Ronaldo