‘Madrid have liberated Ronaldo’

Carlo Ancelotti believes the increased tempo of Real Madrid’s players in recent weeks has allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to rediscover his goalscoring prowess.

The Portuguese followed up his five-goal haul against Granada last weekend and 300th competitive goal at Rayo Vallecano a few days later with a free kick on his 57th attempt in Los Blancos’ 3-0 victory over Eibar on Sunday.

“The entire squad will be available on Tuesday [for the Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid,” the Coach told reporters.

“Our last result [against Atleti, a 4-0 defeat] is enough motivation for us, but we’re convinced it’ll be a different game.

“We want to progress in Europe and we’ll try doing so with everything we’ve got.

“We’re in no doubt it’ll be an intense game and that intensity will be an important part of the game, but there are other things we have to take advantage of.

“The players who haven’t played much did well, especially Chicharito. He took his chance and his performance was complete. Everything went well [for him].

“In the dressing room [after the game], Pepe had no problems [despite his collision with Keylor Navas]. He’ll be fine for Tuesday.

“I can play both [Isco and James Rodriguez] on Tuesday. Cristiano was surprised [about his recent drought] because he always wants to score.

“He’s really enjoying his football again because the team are playing with more speed and that gives him more freedom in front of goal.

“That’s the difference between him and other strikers.”

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez