Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to play in the UEFA Champions League final on May 24 despite a nagging hamstring injury. Reuters

Though winning the competitive Spanish Primera Division looks unrealistic following a 1-1 draw with La Liga rival Valladolid, Real Madrid remains focused on ending the 2013-2014 campaign with a trophy, even if that honor doesn’t come in the Spanish league. Currently four points back of 2012-2013 Copa del Rey champion Atletico Madrid with only two matches remaining, Los Blancos need victories and a bit of help if they’re to leapfrog Los Rojiblancos and second place Barcelona at season’s end. While a year-ending match against Atletico certainly helps – assuming Los Blancos achieves a victory – Real Madrid holds major focus on the upcoming UEFA Champions League final.

Set to meet Atletico Madrid in the May 24 championship match from Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal, Real Madrid and boss Carlo Ancelotti are hopeful that a slew of recent injuries won’t derail the club’s chances of capturing its first UCL crown since defeating Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001-2002 title game. 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or Award winner Cristiano Ronaldo left the pitch in Real’s recent 1-1 draw with Valladolid and with injuries to Pepe, Gareth Bale, Dani Carvajal and Angel Di Maria among others, the Italian boss has reason to be concerned. Luckily for Los Blancos and their head coach however, Ronaldo’s injury doesn’t appear to be overly serious and he should be ready for the UCL final in 2 weeks. He also said his side is dealing with mental exhaustion and not physical struggles.

“We will see over the coming days how Cristiano’s injury is,” Ancelotti said. “We don’t think Cristiano Ronaldo has a big problem. He was not very comfortable but there was no tear. Our mental energy has failed us over the last two games and I can see the team are mentally tired. There is nothing wrong with their physical condition. It's not easy to recover your mental energy between Champions League semi-finals, and that energy is very important at this stage of the season.”

In all competitions this season, Ronaldo has recorded 50 goals and leads all La Liga scorers with 31 tallies in Spanish division play. With Pepe’s return to the pitch unknown after he was recently diagnosed with a grade 1 muscle injury, Ronaldo’s health moving forward will surely have an impact on how Real Madrid features in the approaching UCL Final.

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