Real Madrid welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back to training this Saturday, with the No.7 linking up with the rest of the squad for the first time this summer, having been permitted extra time off following his trip to the Confederations Cup with Portugal.
His return is a much-anticipated one, not only for what he can add on the pitch but also for the return to normality it’ll symbolise after his summer of off-the-pitch drama.
While he was linked with a move away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu at the start of the summer, Ronaldo never said anything on the matter and that seemed to fuel speculation further.
However, his reappearance in training will be a clear message of his intentions, without him having to say a word.
Based on his social media posts, Ronaldo is eager to return to action as soon as possible and this is something he and Zinedine Zidane will have to discuss.
He isn’t expected to be ready in time for next Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup, so the plan is to have him ready for the Spanish Super Cup double-header against Barcelona .
Zidane showed last season that he doesn’t like rushing players back too soon, whether from injury or from a holiday, and this approach benefitted many players, especially Ronaldo.
When he does slot back into the starting lineup, the hope is that the 32-year-old can help Los Blancos return to scoring ways, as their pre-season has been marked by a lack of goals – they’ve netted just five in four games.
Ronaldo’s absence and the departures of Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez have left the team short up front, which is why Real Madrid were even considering adding a young non-Galactico striker to their squad, as MARCA reported on July 21.
Ajax’s Kasper Dolberg and Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi were two of the names mentioned, but the most important thing this Saturday is that goal machine Ronaldo is back.