Cristiano Ronaldo never gives up

The drive, the ambition and the hunger of Cristiano Ronaldo once again saved Real Madrid's bacon in Sunday's 3-2 win over Valencia at the Bernabéu. Zidane knows he has to rest other, weaker, less determined players to ensure they arrive fresh in Milan, but with the Portuguese striker he has no doubts: if he’s fit he plays.

The difference against Valencia

Ronaldo scores his first against Valencia

Cristiano woke Real Madrid up from the lethargy that was consuming his team-mates against Valencia in the Liga with a goal and a host of runs, all of which ensured the game didn’t become enough more difficult for Zidane’s men as they fought to stay in the title hunt. Cristiano once again showed that he’s the emblem of the club, because he never gives up, he never gives in. Apart from when his body has forced him to stop he comes into every game like a youngster desperate to win a place in the professional game.

And Ronaldo’s drive has an incalculable effect on the health of the dressing room, who see that the player who is working hardest also happens to be the best. When the debate is as heated as ever as to whether he should be rotated or not, he works his socks off to show his biggest doubters that the best rest for him is to carry on fighting for the colours of Real Madrid on the pitch. Cristiano’s future, financial and otherwise, is secure and he finds himself in the happy position of enjoying still wanting to work as hard he can right to the end.