La Liga 2018-01-24 5:08 AM

CRISTIANO Ronaldo was back in training and sporting a rather noticeable shiner after he copped a boot to the face against Deportivo La Coruna.

 

CR7 has been in poor form and linked with an exit from Real Madrid this season, and he’s even had to be defended by coach Zinedine Zidane for using the doctor’s phone to assess his injury on the field.

Ronaldo’s act was widely mocked, with photos later emerging to show the severity of the cut.

The Portuguese star took the blow from opposition defender Fabian Schar as he stooped to head in Madrid’s sixth goal – his second – in Real’s 7-1 La Liga win at the weekend.

The 32-year-old remained down and was immediately attended to by the club’s medical staff who escorted him off the pitch.

“We can’t control what people say. He just took the phone to have a look at what had happened, to see if it was a big or small cut – that’s all,” Zidane told a news conference.

“He wanted to know whether or not he could continue or not; that’s what he told us in the dressing room and for me that’s it. They stitched him up and now he’s coming back. The fact he’s training with his eye as it is shows just how important it is for him to play.”

The injury means Ronaldo will miss Real’s Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg at home to local rivals Leganes on Thursday morning AEDT, although the former Manchester United star had been rested throughout the competition.

But speculation of his exit continues to linger, just a week after it emerged he had suffered a breakdown in his relationship with club president Florentino Perez over “broken contract promises”.

Now, Spanish publication Don Balon is reporting Ronaldo is frustrating his club teammates.

According to their sources, which have a very unreliable track record, Bayern Munich loanee James Rodriguez remains close with players in the Real dressing room, who have told him that they are “fed up” with Ronaldo’s inconsistent performances.

Isco, Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal are said to be the players who would not lose sleep over Ronaldo leaving, according to the report, while Diario Gol had previously reported Ronaldo’s rift with club captain Sergio Ramos.

Despite this, Ronaldo will not be joining Manchester United, according to Sky Sports football reporter Guillem Balague.

“So could he re-join Manchester United?” he said.

“His people have put the word out about a possible return but the reality is that United do not want to get involved.

“They were interested towards the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign and during David Moyes’ time in charge, but it’s a different story now.

“That’s mostly because of Ronaldo’s age. He will turn 33 in February and his best days are clearly behind him, so it is difficult to justify the huge sums that would be involved in the deal.

“Of course, there is a romantic pull to having him back at Old Trafford, but the truth is that he does not fit the profile of a squad with an average age of just 26.”

Gareth Bale is another player linked with a move to Manchester United, which is said to have frustrated Ronaldo, and now Zidane has singled out the Welsh attacker for praise.

Zidane said Bale’s brilliance and his brace of goals had lifted the struggling club, who are 19 points off Barcelona in La Liga.

“What has changed for him is that he has no problems, nothing is bothering him,” the Frenchman said.

“For a player, it’s fundamental to have nothing holding you back in training. He’s improving his performances, he’s a really important player and he’s proving it.

“I hope he continues to do so, so that the team regains its confidence and we continue in this manner.

“This is what’s great about football, we are on a roll and we are hoping to carry on in the same style.”

 

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