Updates from Monday, Aug. 18
Carlo Ancelotti's team are now in preparation for the Spanish Super Cup against Atlético de Madrid, with the first leg on Tuesday and the return match on Friday. The squad took to the pitches of the Real Madrid training ground at Valdebebas, including Isco Alarcón, who just hours before had become a father and was congratulated by his teammates and the coaching staff.
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 12
Cristiano Ronaldo is in Real Madrid's starting lineup for the European Super Cup vs. Sevilla, the club confirmed prior to the match:
Earlier Ronaldo, was confirmed as fit to start Tuesday's European Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Sevilla, by Carlo Ancelotti.
Ronaldo has been training alone for the majority of the summer, but Ancelotti said his star man has no concerns ahead of the Cardiff clash, as reported by Madrid's official website:
Cristiano Ronaldo is fine. He has no issues and has done everything he needed to in order to be fit to play tomorrow. The problem he had is more than behind him and I think he will start the season really well.
Updates from Monday, Aug. 11
Cristiano Ronaldo was named among Real Madrid's 22-man squad on Monday ahead of the European Super Cup clash with Sevilla.
Madrid's official website provides Carlo Ancelotti's selected group:
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Keylor Navas and Pacheco.
Defenders: Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrão, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa and Nacho.
Midfielders: Khedira, Kroos, James Rodríguez, Bale, Xabi Alonso, Modric, Di María, Isco and Illarra.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema.
Ronaldo is expected to start Tuesday's game, according to Tomas Roncero of AS.
Writing under the headline "Cristiano is set to start in Cardiff," Roncero writes:
In spite of a number of doctors’ verdicts that it was better not to force his way back, the striker will be there on Tuesday to face Sevilla, with the decision made by Ancelotti and the player after discussing the matter this week. He doesn’t want to miss out on any of the six trophies up for grabs, least of all the European Super Cup, the only one missing from his impressive repertoire.
[...] in recent sessions he has looked as fit as a fiddle. Once again Cristiano will be the reference point on the pitch, although Ancelotti will not be holding back in other areas.
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 7
Cristiano Ronaldo continues to train away from the rest of the Real Madrid squad, but he has upped his conditioning work ahead of the European Super Cup final against Sevilla.
AS briefly reports:
The Portugal international has increased the intensity of his training regime, although he is still training individually with a view of rejoining the group soon.
Updates from Monday, Aug. 4
Cristiano Ronaldo will have the final say on what role he plays for Real Madrid in their forthcoming European Super Cup meeting with Sevilla.
Pablo Polo of Marca reports the latest:
It will be up to Cristiano Ronaldo to decide if he is going to play in the European Super Cup. He was the one who decided when to take some time out last season on account of his tendinitis injury, and everything points to him deciding when to return.
Updates from Saturday, Aug. 2
Despite comments to the contrary, Cristiano Ronaldo came on as a substitute in Saturday's match vs. Manchester United (via Fox Soccer):
Prior to the match, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti commented on Ronaldo's injury, according to the team's official Twitter feed:
Updates from Friday, Aug. 1
David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror reports the latest on Ronaldo's status:
Ancelotti confirms Ronaldo won't face Man Utd tomorrow as he's not fit #mufc— David McDonnell (@DiscoMirror) August 1, 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to play a small role in Real Madrid's weekend friendly with Manchester United, as Carlo Ancelotti assesses whether his star man is fit for the European Super Cup clash on Aug. 12.
The Daily Mail's Rajvir Rai reports that Ronaldo enjoyed a positive training session on Thursday and "was pictured giving the thumbs up."
Spanish daily AS reports Madrid's vague plan for Ronaldo, but also sounds a note of caution that the Portuguese star could yet miss both the United clash and the Super Cup game against Sevilla:
Cristiano Ronaldo is working hard to be fit and ready for the European Super Cup. Despite still exercising alone, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti can now start reintroducing him into team training and thinks he could even feature against Manchester United in their next game.
However, a competitive game like the European Super Cup on 12th August in Cardiff could still come too soon for a footballer who is only running and exercising with the ball right now.
Updates from Wednesday, July 30
Cristiano Ronaldo may make his first appearance of preseason against former club Manchester United.
Real Madrid meet the English giants on Saturday, Aug. 2, and Carlo Ancelotti told the club's official website there is a chance Ronaldo will feature:
He did a double session today and is working well on his own. We will see in the next few days if he can train with the side and play against Manchester. We have to be careful, and right now this calls for calm.
Cristiano Ronaldo's hunt for full fitness continues on Real Madrid's tour of the U.S., where he has trained alone with fitness coach Santi Lozano, reported by the club's official website and Twitter account:
Injured toward the end of last season, Ronaldo struggled to regain his explosive power, pace and sharpness throughout the World Cup. He netted one goal and a brilliant assist during three games in Brazil, but his overall play appeared lacking.
Pablo Polo of Marca describes the current regime Ronaldo is working through with Lozano, who is tasked with ensuring the Portuguese star returns to his prolific form in time for the La Liga season:
He doesn't want to run any risks, and to do things one step at a time, until he returns to his best form, and therefore he is doing a series of personalised exercises, with gentle runs and stretching, until he can join up with the rest of the players in the daily training routines.
Ronaldo's knee is the main source of his troubles and will surely raise major concerns for Madrid. Spanish publication El Confidencial previously reported comments from surgeon Jose Carlos Noronha, who said Ronaldo's "future is in danger" if he fails to rest, as reported by Richard Arrowsmith of the Daily Mail.
Despite declaring himself 100 percent fit and representing a lacklustre Portugal side in Brazil, it seems the former Manchester United player needs a personalised training schedule to ensure he is ready for an important year at the Bernabeu.
With La Decima captured, Ronaldo is expected to lead Los Blancos' charge toward the domestic title. City rivals Atletico Madrid currently hold the crown after a fantastic season, while Barcelona are expected to improve now Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez have joined the Camp Nou side.
How many goals will Cristiano Ronaldo hit in total next season?
Should Ronaldo miss the start of the season, James Rodriguez will be afforded with an excellent opportunity to impress.
The newly acquired Colombian fulfills a similar left-sided role—where he often looks to attack through the middle—meaning he could be called upon with greater intensity if Ronaldo slumps toward more problems.
The fact he is completing basic training tasks should certainly be taken as a plus. Ronaldo notched 31 goals and nine assists in 30 La Liga appearances last year, while breaking the record amount of goals in a single Champions League season with a stunning 17, per WhoScored.com.
The latest Ballon d'Or winner is not someone who can be fully replaced.
Brighter news for Carlo Ancelotti is Alvaro Arbeloa's return to training, per the club's website. Although the Spaniard is expected to struggle when trying to oust Dani Carvajal from the team, strength in depth is needed to fulfill Real's promise across all major competitions next season.
A gruelling schedule and niggling problems have certainly taken their toll over Ronaldo's immediate fitness, but he can be expected to make a full recovery soon.
The lighter workload ensures he is under less pressure and can focus on regaining the penetration that makes him a potential match-winner every time he steps onto the pitch.