Fri | Sep 24, 2021

Madrid rest Ronaldo for league game

Published:Friday | March 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Ronaldo

MADRID (AP):

Cristiano Ronaldo has been rested along with other key players for Real Madrid's match at Las Palmas today.

Coach Zinedine Zidane left out his 22-goal top scorer ahead of Madrid's Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Juventus on Tuesday.

Zidane also rested centre half Sergio Ramos, midfielder Francisco 'Isco' Alarcon, left back Marcelo and midfielder Toni Kroos. Ramos and Isco both played for Spain during the international break.

Madrid have scant hope of winning the Spanish title and sit in third place, trailing leader Barcelona by 15 points. Following the Juventus match, they face an intense derby at home to second-place Atletico next weekend. Atletico are four points ahead of their cross-city rival with nine matches remaining.

"Of course, we have the game in Turin in our heads," Zidane said. "But to prepare for it we have to do well tomorrow."

Lionel Messi, the league's top scorer with 25 goals, is in Barcelona's squad for their trip to sixth-place Sevilla today. The Argentina forward recently missed two international friendlies with a leg muscle problem.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde will be cautious about Messi.

"We have to be sure that what he has doesn't become a muscle tear," Valverde said. "That would be much more serious."

Barcelona host Roma next Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.