â€œPlay Ronaldo against Barcelonaâ€
These are four little words that are being screamed by Real Madrid fans to the coach, Manuel Pellegrini. Meanwhile, the reality is that Cristiano Ronaldo is not totally fit according to reports and to the player.
Cristiano Ronaldo actually suffered a big blow in his debut career for Los Blancos when he sustained a heavy ankle injury against Marseille in the Champions League back in September.
The Portuguese winger could not even remain on the field until the end of the game but rather had to go off as a substitute with around 25 minutes of the game remaining.
After that, Cristiano Ronaldo spent around two months on the sidelines but he broke his fitness program in between to feature for Portugal.
While playing for his country to help them defeat Hungary in a must-win World Cup qualifier, Cristiano Ronaldo expressed strong signs of pain and weakness.
He therefore had to be substituted after less than half an hour.
There were subsequent beliefs that Cristiano Ronaldoâ€™s health had aggravated because of he and his countryâ€™s decision to play against Hungary despite being unfit.
Well, after speculations, rumors, debates, and all the stuff that could surround Cristiano Ronaldoâ€™s ankle injury saga, the player finally returned to active football on Wednesday evening.
Cristiano Ronaldo was introduced as a 70th minute substitute in replacement of Real Madridâ€™s captain, Raul Gonzalez.
The 24-year-old was only inches away from celebrating a perfect come-back as his low shot was frantically parried away by FC Zurichâ€™s goalkeeper Leoni.
In the end, Cristiano Ronaldo was still happy to have made his return to the field of play. However, he admitted that he felt tired and not fully fit during the 24 minutes that he was on the pitch.
On Sunday, the biggest match of the year takes place at the Camp Nou, a venue that haunted the spirit of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008.
The pressure on Real Madrid to perform and win is mounting as the clock runs down. Los Blancos, who occupy the first spot in La Liga standings, want to defeat the â€œextra-terrestrialâ€ Catalans to open the gap to four points at the top of the table.
The battle will surely be difficult and Real Madrid â€“ who are still learning to gel as a team â€“ will need to be perfect in every department.
Not playing Cristiano Ronaldo will surely benefit the player in terms of health conditions. However, such a decision will definitely boost Barcelonaâ€™s confidence ahead of El Clasico and Real Madrid will certainly not want to deal with such a proud Barcelona side.
Everyone wants to watch the worldâ€™s most expensive player featuring against Barcelona for Real Madrid. Everyone wants to see him overturning the bad luck from which he suffered at the Camp Nou the last time out (when he missed his penalty kick against the Blaugrana for Manchester United in the Champions League semis).
Yet, no-one is thinking of the biggest possible consequences:
Not only might Ronaldo not perform well against Barcelona due to his injury, but he might also require surgery on his ankle if his health condition naturally deteriorates after El Clasico.
Angela Asante, CRF Chief Editor