Former Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello says Cristiano Ronaldo's fitness a problem for Real Madrid
The former manager's insight into what's going wrong with the Los Blancos.
The Portuguese international picked up a knee injury in the final of EURO 2016 and hasn’t been at his best since. In a conversation with Spanish radio station, Onda Cero, the former England manager said, “The problem for Real Madrid now is Cristiano Ronaldo. Because he is not well physically and is their best player."
Ronaldo was unavailable for selection in the opening weeks of the season but has scored three goals since his return.
Ronaldo not fully fit, says Capello
While many hold current manager Zinedine Zidane responsible for their recent dip in form, Capello explained that the team was just missing their best player who is yet to regain complete fitness.
"Because for me he is not perfect physically, he does not have the same balance with his knee. I have seen him missing shots that he never misses, never. And he is their goal scorer and the most important player in the team. Then they are missing important midfielders too."
Real Madrid won the first six games of their 2016-17 campaign but has since drawn four matches in a row across all competitions – a run they haven’t had in over 10 years.
They were on the verge of breaking Barcelona’s 16-game winning streak record in the La Liga but drew their 17th match and had to satisfy themselves with equalling their rival’s achievement.
The team has been hit with a flurry of injuries recently to key players. Luka Modric, Marcelo and Casemiro have been unavailable for a while now and Raphael Varane, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez picked up injuries during their clash against Eibar last Sunday.
Give Zidane more time: Capello
Real Madrid were top of the table in the league but as a result of three draws have dropped to second position behind rivals Atletico Madrid on goal difference.
The ex-England manager defended Zidane and pointed out how he had led the team to a record 11th Champions league final victory just some months ago.
"When you win trophies, well, and Zidane has won the Champions League, the most difficult to win for everyone. So we must give him time. This is a difficult moment, and they are still top. That is the most important for a coach."
Fabio Capello was appointed as manager of Real Madrid on two occasions. First, for a year at the start of the 1996 season and then later again in 2006 for just one season.