Real Madrid supporters can rest easy after the squad announced forward Cristiano Ronaldo and defender Sergio Ramos returned to training Monday. Ronaldo was sidelined with lower back pain and Ramos a right leg injury during Los Blancos 0-0 friendly with Valerenga on Sunday.
“Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo trained on the pitch and in the interior facilities at Ciudad Real Madrid, led by club specialists,” the announcement on the team’s official site read.
A report from Spanish outlet Marca stated Ronaldo is expected to play in Aug. 18’s friendly against Turkish side Galatasaray for the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy.
First-year manager Rafa Benitez will begin final preparations for the start of La Liga on Tuesday, the team’s statement said, beginning with Aug. 23’s opener against Sporting Gijon at El Molinon.
The 30-year-old Ronaldo is coming off an incredible run across all competitions last season, highlighted by his career-best 61 goals in 54 total appearances. A healthy Ronaldo is of critical importance as Madrid look to regain La Liga and Champions League from rivals Barcelona.
With fellow forward Karim Benzema also relegated to the bench with a thigh injury, and potentially on the move to Premier League side Arsenal, any knock to Ronaldo limits Madrid’s attack. Before missing Madrid’s last two preseason matches against Bayern Munich and Tottenham, Ronaldo last played in the 0-0 (10-9) International Champions Cup victory over AC Milan on July 30, and during the preseason he’s scored one goal.
The matchup with Galatasaray, who claimed Super Lig by three points last term, will serve as an excellent tune-up for Ronaldo five days before the start of La Liga. Though his pitch time will likely be limited.
Ramos, 29, and Madrid have worked on a contract extension for most of the summer and several reports indicated a deal was on the horizon. ESPNFC cited reports out of Spain that a new deal could be announced Thursday.
The speculation over a new deal, or lack thereof, has linked Ramos to a move to Manchester United, but he’s expected to remain in Madrid as the leader of one of the world’s top backlines. Ramos has totaled 40 goals over 314 appearances since joining Madrid from Sevilla in 2005, primarily playing center-back beside Marcelo and Alvaro Arbeloa.