Cristiano Ronaldo Must Rest Against Villarreal After Sustaining Injury

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 18:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF reacts as he fail to score during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis Balompie at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 18, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo put together a great effort for his national team, but it comes at a cost to Real Madrid for the near future.

The Portuguese star scored three goals in the final 30 minutes against Northern Ireland to help his team get a come-from-behind win. This helped the squad sit near the top of the group in World Cup qualifying, which will be finalized next month.

However, it was not all good for Ronaldo. According to the FIFA website, Ronaldo was unable to play in his team's friendly on Tuesday due to tendinitis. 

Portugal's team doctor, Henrique Jones, was quoted in saying Ronaldo "has had a week of intense treatment, he made an enormous sacrifice and now he needs to rest."

Real Madrid would be smart to listen to the doctor in this one. Not only did the superstar rest against Brazil and should remain out for a little longer for the squad to make sure he is 100 percent before returning to the pitch.

Dermot Corrigan of ESPN translated a report in AS, which stated that "the problem was tendonitis in a thigh muscle injury which the player had been managing for a few weeks."

It seems clear that the only way the issue will resolve itself is if allows it to heal. Simply "managing" an injury this early in the season can only lead to more problems. He will be less than full strength the entire year, and Real cannot afford anything but his best.

While Villarreal is one of the better teams in La Liga, there are more important matches coming up. The squad begins Champions League group play this week, plus matches against Atletico Madrid and Barcelona are right around the corner.

Having Ronaldo at his best for these matches is much more important than forcing himself into the upcoming contest and remaining injured.

Of course, Saturday's match will be notable even without Ronaldo. The contest is set to be the Real Madrid debut for Gareth Bale, who came over from Tottenham on a world-record fee. Although he is unlikely to play 90 minutes, there will be enough excitement that fans would hardly notice anyone else on the pitch.

This would be a great way for Ronaldo to avoid the circus for the match and allow Bale to get his moment in the spotlight. It would also reduce the pressure for Bale as he does not have to compete with his teammates for touches in his first appearances.

There will be plenty of time in the future for the pair to learn how to play well together. In all likelihood, this will not be an issue as they become one of the top scoring tandems in the world.

Until then, Real Madrid should keep Ronaldo on the bench to rest his injury and then come back full strength alongside Bale. When that happens, the rest of Europe better watch out.


Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter