Rampant Cristiano Ronaldo has learned to accept rotation: Zinedine Zidane

first_imgReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said on Friday Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted the need to rest during the season as the prolific Portuguese prepares to sit out a fourth consecutive league away game in missing Saturday’s trip to Granada.Ronaldo has missed eight of Real’s 34 league games so far this season in contrast to last year when he participated in 36 of 38, only absent due to a hamstring injury he sustained late in the campaign.The benefits of playing fewer games this term were evident as the Portuguese forward scored a dazzling hat-trick against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday to take Real to the brink of a third Champions League final, in contrast to the withered state in which he finished last season.Zidane remarked last year that Ronaldo needed to rest more but it was difficult to convince him to sit out games, but said on Friday the 32-year-old had accepted his new reality.”I speak with Cristiano all the time and I know him very well. He knows that until now he played 60-70 games a season and the accumulation of all those years meant he needs to rest a little,” Zidane told a news conference.”I’m not the coach that has made him rest, all I know is that players need to rest, especially if they want to arrive at the final stage of the season in top condition.”Real face the already relegated Granada, who have lost their last five games, on Saturday needing a win to stay level on points with La Liga leaders Barcelona, although Zidane is expected to leave Ronaldo out of the squad.advertisementThe Portuguese would be suspended from next Sunday’s vital league game against Sevilla if booked against Granada.Real trail Barca in the standings due to their inferior head-to-head record but have a game in hand on the Catalans meaning they will win a first league title since 2012 if they collect 10 points from their remaining four games.Ronaldo’s treble against Atleti followed his five goals in the quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich and Zidane said the player’s ruthless display meant he could collect the Ballon d’Or for a second year running, taking him level with Lionel Messi in winning the prestigious individual award five times.”I think he could win it again, and he deserves all the credit for that,” said Zidane.last_img read more

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Undeterred by cancer, Malaysian badminton legend Lee vows to return

first_imgKuala Lumpur, Nov 8 (IANS) Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei pledged on Thursday to try his best to continue his career for “the love of the sport”.Speaking at his first press conference since seeking treatment for nose cancer abroad, Lee said he loves the sport too much to quit but would not compromise on his health, reports Xinhua news agency.”I love this sport and I want to be back soon and prepare for upcoming tournaments, but how quickly I will return will depend on my condition,” he said.”My doctors have advised me to take things slowly and I will listen to their advice to take things slowly…. I have started some light training at home,” he said.The 36-year-old explained he was currently training three times a week instead of the previous six times.The three-time Olympic silver medallist said he still aims at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but he wanted to make sure he remains competitive.”Of course the Olympic gold is still my dream and my target. All Malaysians want this,” he said.Lee also expressed hope that he would be able to make his comeback next year for the All England Open which is scheduled for March and to participate in the qualifying for the Olympics to begin in May.Lee seemed to be back in top form this year, when he ended Japanese shuttler Kento Momota’s winning streak and clinched his 12th Malaysia Open title and rose to second place in the world rankings.advertisementBut then he withdrew from the World Championships and the Asian Games citing “respiratory-related disorder” before Badminton Association of Malaysia confirmed in September that he “has been diagnosed with early stage nose cancer” and was recovering well after treatment.Elaborating on his experience after being diagnosed with cancer, Lee said he could hardly eat or sleep for the first week.”They told me it was cancer. Of course I was shocked and frightened, who would not be? The treatment was tough. I had to eat to keep my strength but eating, drinking and even swallowing was difficult.Lee said that he had been tested negative for cancer in the latest test.”I thank the support of my family, friends and my fans who wished me a quick recovery. This was very important to me,” he said.–IANSajb/sedlast_img read more

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