Ronaldo fit for Champs League; Benzema, Pepe doubt

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm •  Published: May 23, 2014
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo seems certain to be fit to lead Real Madrid's attack against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday.

However, Real coach Carlo Ancelotti has lingering fitness doubts about Ronaldo's strike partner Karim Benzema and defender Pepe.

"Cristiano doesn't have any problems, he has trained well," Ancelotti said Friday about the competition's 16-goal record scorer, who missed Madrid's final league match last weekend to rest a leg muscle injury.

Benzema and Pepe have not trained this week due to hamstring and calf injuries, respectively.

Ancelotti said the team's practice session Friday evening on the Stadium of Light pitch "will be crucial to decide" if they can start.

Madrid's vaunted forward line — the so-called BBC of Gareth Bale, Benzema and Cristiano — have combined to score 26 goals in this Champions League season, plus 63 in La Liga.

Benzema has thrived playing between the two speedy wingers, though Ancelotti played down the significance of the France forward, or any one player in a city derby between teams which have met four times already this season.

"Benzema has had a great season and I don't know that we are losing him," the coach said, adding "we will use another player who has similar characteristics."

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