Zinedine Zidane explained why Cristiano Ronaldo missed Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City.
Ronaldo had been rated as 100% by Zizou at his pre-match Press conference but didn’t even make the bench while Karim Benzema, also said by the Coach to be fully fit, had to go off at half time.
“Ronaldo suffered something in training and we didn’t want to risk him. He wasn’t comfortable. We have to think about the day-to-day, to recover as soon as possible. Hopefully he can be back for the return [on Wednesday]. That’s the idea. We believe in doing things right and that is in the return,” Zidane said, AS reports.
“Benzema suffered and that’s a shame because he wanted to play. So we took him off at half time and we’ll see what happens with him as well.”
Lucas Vazquez deputised for Ronaldo and Zidane praised the fringe players, as well as expressed contentment with the goalless draw even though Madrid missed chances.
“All the players know they’re important and it’s true than when Cristiano and Benzema are missing there are others who play and do well, that’s the mentality of this team,” he continued.
“It’s a good result. We fought, the game was difficult, but we improved in the second half. We had a good 90 minutes, though the second half was better.
“The important thing is the result is good. We had chances in the second half, but we didn’t get them. The second leg will be 50-50 again. We have to rest well, because we’ve suffered.”