El Clasico: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale 100% Fit – Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid Coach, Zinedine Zidane has confirm that, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are both “100%” ready to play in El Clasico against Barcelona after fitness problems.
Fourth-placed Real are 11 points behind unbeaten league leaders Barcelona.
Ronaldo worked alone earlier this week, with a calf knock, but trained properly on Friday – while Bale is recovering from a calf problem.
“He’s OK. He’s 100%. He’s trained today,” Zidane said of Ronaldo.
Bale has not played in La Liga since September, but featured twice off the bench in the recent Club World Cup, which Real won.
“I’ll not choose a player because I want him to play in a Clasico,” said Zidane. “I trust my players and they can get injured, but the important thing is that I think he is 100% to play. We’ll see if he plays or not tomorrow.”
Barca have not lost a league game this season under coach Ernesto Valverde, who said: “I don’t think we are favourites, the league table has no influence on games like this because of the tension there always is.
“Madrid are such a powerful team that they can strike you down even when you’re in your best moment of form. Also, they will be at home.”
Zidane does not think a defeat ends his side’s hopes of defending their title: “We have to not think about the difference in points. I don’t think it’s a decisive match in terms of the league.
“You have to think positively. We’re very good and better in each area of the field. Even if we lose, the league will not be over.”
Zidane’s Real Madrid were favourites to win La Liga this season, having won last season’s Spanish title – as well as two Champions Leagues in a row.
But they have struggled this season – arguably after losing some of their squad members in the summer like Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez, Danilo and Pepe.
They have won the Spanish Super Cup (against Barca), the Uefa Super Cup (against Manchester United) and the World Club Cup final (against Gremio). They are still in the Copa del Rey and Champions League, where they finished second to Tottenham in Group H.