It's a special game in my home country: Cristiano Ronaldo
Lisbon: Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have concerns over the fitness of key players ahead of the first ever meeting between two sides from the same city in the Champions League final in Lisbon tonight.
Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic/AFP.
Real are the worst affected as defender Pepe and striker Karim Benzema remain major doubts, but coach Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo will start despite a muscle problem that prevented him taking a full part in training this week.
Ronaldo pulled out of Real’s final La Liga game of the season against Espanyol last weekend due to a hamstring injury, that also saw him miss crucial ties in the Liga title run in as Real lost out to Atletico.
However, the Portuguese forward will return to the city where he started his playing career with Sporting Lisbon and admitted he is desperate to finally lead Real to their 10th European Cup after five seasons with the club. “It will be a special game. I will be playing in my home country, in Portugal,” the 29-year-old told UEFA.com “It is my first final with Real Madrid, so that will be special too and it will be against a great team in Atletico. They’ve had an amazing year, but we’ll give our best because we want that 10th title. Real have wanted this for a long time. We feel we are just one small step away from winning,” added Ronaldo.
Live on TV: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid: Ten Action, Ten Sports & Ten HD, 00:15 (Sunday)