The sight of Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench as Real Madrid take to the pitch is not a common one. The last time the Portugal captain was left out of a starting line-up was on January 7, 2015, when Carlo Ancelotti was in charge at the Bernabéu. That game was against Atlético Madrid in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, with Ronaldo coming on for James Rodríguez in the 63rd minute of an eventual 2-0 defeat.
Ronaldo has only failed to feature in two games when fit
Now entering his ninth season at Real Madrid, Ronaldo has been a substitute on just 14 occasions in the course of 397 games, failing to make it onto the pitch in just two of those encounters.
Under Zinedine Zidane, the Madrid forward has never been left out of a starting line-up when he has been available but Ronaldo was handed an extended summer holiday and missed Real’s pre-season tour of the US, only returning to training a few days before Tuesday’s European Super Cup in Skopje.
The manager who has left Ronaldo out of the starting 11 most times during his Real Madrid career is José Mourinho, now in charge of United, who left his number seven out five times during his spell at the Bernabéu.