MANCHESTER CITY-REAL MADRID

Cristiano "If it had been a final I would have played"

The Portuguese striker was forced to sit out Real Madrid's 0-0 draw against Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final.

Cristiano "If it had been a final I would have played"
Carl Recine REUTERS

Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to miss the Champions League semi-final after failing a last minute fitness test at the Etihad Stadium. The player from Madeira picked up a knock in the final stages of the home game last week at the Bernabeu against Villarreal. He played no part in Madrid's 2-3 win at Rayo and on Monday Zinedine Zidane assured that the player was 100% fit.

Cristiano was even able to complete the open to the media training session at the Etihad and appeared to carry out the session without any apparent problems. After liasing with the coach and admitting that he wasn't sure of his fitness it was deemed that the best option was not to take a chance with the strikers fitness and Ronaldo was omitted from the substitutes bench. His place for the semi final was taken by Lucas Vázquez. Ronaldo had an MRI and subsequently did not even take a place on the bench, retiring instead to the stands to watch the match.

Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese striker is now a serious doubt for next week's second leg, on Wednesday 4 May. According to Spanish radio station Onda Cero the player could have a mild hamstring tear meaning he would be unlikely to take any part in the match at the Bernabéu.

Cristiano though was caught by Antena 3 claiming: “The strain is still there. I'll wait for the next game. If it was a final, I'd give it a try”. Minutes later, Emilio Butragueño told the beIN Sports network: "It's a shame that he hasn't been able to shake off the knock. It's been decided he won't play but we are fielding an excellent side. There are two legs so we're going to be prudent. The decision has been taken and I hop it all works out well. I'd also like to thanks all the Real Madrid fans who have traveled to support the side”.

Cristiano has played in nearly every game this season, just missing the cup game in Cádiz and he was substituted in the 89th minute against AS Roma in the Champions League. He missed a minute of added time in last Wednesday's game against Villarreal and played no role in Saturday's LaLiga match in Vallecas.