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Rediff.com  » Sports » Injury concerns for Champions League finalists Real, Liverpool

Injury concerns for Champions League finalists Real, Liverpool

May 08, 2018 21:33 IST

Zidane plays down Ronaldo injury; Liverpool’s Gomez sidelined after surgey

Cristiano Ronaldo

IMAGE: Cristiano Ronaldo. Photograph: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is 150 percent sure that Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to face Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 26.

The European champions' talismanic forward suffered a minor ankle sprain while scoring in the 2-2 draw with Barcelona on Sunday.

Ronaldo will miss the league matches against Sevilla on Wednesday and Celta Vigo on Saturday, but may return for the final game of the season against Villarreal on May 19.

"What is incredible is that (Ronaldo) is walking after 48 hours and that shows his ambition, but I'm not sure if he will be available for the Villarreal game," Zidane told reporters on Tuesday.

 

"Everyone will be available for the final, I'm telling you, 150 percent. Everyone will be back, Cristiano, Isco and (Dani) Carvajal."

Madrid, third, have little at stake in Spain's top flight, with their season hanging on the clash with Liverpool in Kiev, where they could win the Champions League for the third year running and a record-extending 13th time.

"It's a final and it will be very intense. A spectacular game with chances for both teams," Zidane said.

"They have a bit of everything, strength, technique, speed, they are English and they defend and they fight, they know how to do it."

Asked about Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who has scored a joint-record 31 Premier League goals this season, Zidane praised the Egyptian.

"I don't know if Salah will be able to win the Ballon d'Or, but he has had a great season," he said.

"The game will not be Cristiano against Salah, it will be Madrid against Liverpool."

Liverpool's Gomez to miss Champions League final after ankle surgery

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will miss the Champions League final this month after undergoing surgery on his ankle, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old, who made his England debut last year, will also not be fit for the World Cup in June.

Gomez injured his ankle while on international duty with England in March, and his recent Premier League games against West Bromwich Albion and StokeCity aggravated the problem.

He was not part of Liverpool's squad for their Champions League semi-final second leg against AS Roma last week and also missed their weekend league defeat at Chelsea.

"Liverpool can confirm Joe Gomez has undergone an operation on an ankle injury," the club said in a statement.

Gomez should be ready for the start of Liverpool's pre-season training schedule in July, it added.

Gomez has played regularly under England manager Gareth Southgate since making his international debut against Germany last November.

His absence will be a blow for his country, given Southgate's preferred tactic of employing a three-man central defence.

"Gutted to confirm that my season for both club and country is over having undergone successful ankle surgery," Gomez wrote on his Instagram account.

"Been a tough few weeks trying everything possible to be available on the pitch to help the team.

"I'm going to do all I can to get back and be in the best possible shape for pre season. The focus now is to support the team in the two biggest games of the season!"

Third-placed Liverpool host Brighton and Hove Albion in their last match of the Premier League season on Sunday. They then play Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 26.

Source:
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