By DAN KARELL
There was a familiar face back in Real Madrid’s training sessions on Thursday and Friday, but the club won’t be risking injury to their highest-paid star.
Cristiano Ronaldo is back in full training after suffering a slight hamstring injury in Madrid’s 5-0 win at Almeria, but manager Carlo Ancelotti isn’t willing to risk further injury to the Portuguese international. As such, Ronaldo has been ruled out of Madrid’s upcoming La Liga match on Saturday against Real Valladolid.
“Cristiano is not comfortable (yet). (His leg) was not feeling well, so we decided not to play (him),” Ancelotti said at a press conference today to Marca. “We did an ultrasound and Cristiano’s muscle has recovered, he is not injured. However, he is not feeling well, therefore he will rest and have 15 days to be on top of his fitness.”
Multiple reports state that Ronaldo likely won’t play again until Dec. 14 at Osasuna because he’s suspended for next weekend’s Copa Del Rey match and likely won’t be risked in Real Madrid’s final UEFA Champions League group stage match against FC Copenhagen.
Here are some more stories to get your Friday kicked off:
TOTTENHAM CONTINUE TO IMPRESS IN EUROPE
Tottenham’s Jekyll and Hyde performances continued in UEFA Europa League action on Thursday with a resounding 2-0 victory at Norwegian side Tromso.
Despite the below-freezing temperatures at kickoff, Andre Villas-Boas’ side quickly settled into the game, with England international Andros Townsend and Gylfi Sigurdsson causing a number of problems for the Tromso defense.
In the second half, Sigurdsson played provider for both of Tottenham’s goals, first setting up defender Vlad Chiriches in the box, whose shot went off Tromso defender Adnan Сausevic and in for an own goal in the 63rd minute, before finding Moussa Dembele in space in front of goal in the 76th minute.
Elsewhere in Europa League action, Valencia earned some revenge with a 1-0 victory against Swansea City, Lazio defeated Legia Warsaw on the road, and Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Bordeaux on the road with 12,000 traveling supporters making the trip to Southwest France.
RAMOS COULD BE ON HIS WAY OUT OF MADRID
Sergio Ramos has seemingly ruffled one too many feathers after earning his 17th red card in a Real Madrid shirt on Wednesday.
Both manager Carlo Ancelotti and president Florentino Perez have reportedly run out of patience with the veteran defender, and according to multiple reports in Spain, Perez would accept an offer of 50 million euros ($68 million) for Ramos, and even 60 million euros if it came from Barcelona.
While that number seems high, Ramos is a starter for the Spanish national team and Real Madrid, making him by definition one of the best defenders in the world. Just 27, he still has some sell-on value as well.
Early reports in England have touted Manchester City and Chelsea to be potential destinations for the former Sevilla defender, as he’s been coached previously at Real Madrid by Manuel Pellegrini of Man City and Jose Mourinho of Chelsea.
GALLIANI TO LEAVE MILAN
The roller-coaster nature of AC Milan’s 2013-2014 season took another sharp turn as CEO Adriano Galliani announced his intention to leave the club after 27 years.
With Milan down in 13th place in the Serie A standings, Galliani has decided that it’s time for a change of scenery, as he’s not happy with the club’s current situation. There have also been rumors that Barbara Berlusconi, who owns the club and is the daughter of disgraced politician Silvio Berlusconi, wanted a change in executives.
Galliani will leave the club after its final UEFA Champions League group stage match on Dec. 11 against Ajax.
“I’m leaving with or without a (severance) agreement,” Galliani told ANSA in Italy. “I have suffered serious personal damage, that’s not the way to carry out a restructuring; you should do it with elegance.
“I’m resigning for just cause.”
During his tenure at the club, Galliani was the man behind the signings of high-profile players such as Robinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kaka, and Mario Balotelli.
Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs turns 40 today. Here’s Giggs’ career by the numbers. (REPORT)
Polish police detained 120 Lazio fans ahead of the UEFA Europa League match against Legia Warsaw with reports of the fans throwing bottles and stones at police vehicles. (REPORT)
Despite a crane accident and stadium collapse that killed two workers in Sao Paulo, the World Cup opening match is not expected to be delayed, though the stadium will likely not be finished until after the new year. (REPORT)
Liverpool has been linked with Barcelona wing back Marvin Montoya. (REPORT)
Arsenal has been linked with Paraguayan national team and Barcelona B-team starlet Antonio Sanabria, who at 17-years of age already has three senior caps for the national team. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Worried about Ronaldo’s potential injury problems? Do you see Tottenham taking their Europa League form back into the English Premier League? Do you see Ramos leaving Real Madrid in January?
Share your thoughts below.