Millennium Post

Ronaldo boost for Real fight

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is fit for Tuesday’s Champions League semifinal second leg at home to Borussia Dortmund, after missing their La Liga win over Atletico Madrid through injury, coach Jose Mourinho said.

The Portugal international, top scorer in the latest edition of Europe’s elite club competition with 12 goals, returned to training with his team mates on Monday after sitting out Saturday’s 2-1 La Liga victory.

He had damaged a thigh muscle in last week’s 4-1 defeat in Dortmund. The 10 outfield players who started against Atletico formed one group working on recuperation at training on Monday, Real said in a statement on their website.

‘In the second the rest of the outfield players ... worked with more intensity, including Cristiano Ronaldo,’ they added. Even with a fit Ronaldo, Real face a stiff task against the Bundesliga side if they are to keep alive their bid for the 10th European crown that has eluded them since 2002.

‘Cristiano is fine to play tomorrow,’ Mourinho said at a news conference previewing Tuesday’s game.

As they contemplate how to overturn a 4-1 deficit to reach the Champions League final, nine-time European Cup winners Real Madrid are taking inspiration from a similar feat against Derby County four decades ago.On Saturday, Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp made 10 changes to the team that beat Real but they lacked none of their usual spark as they eased past Fortuna Duesseldorf 2-1 to tighten their hold on second spot with three games left in their domestic season. ‘With 10 changes it was not very easy but we are pros and need to accept it,’ captain Sebastian Kehl said on Saturday.

‘We wanted to win to secure second spot and fill up on confidence ahead of Tuesday.’
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