Cristiano Ronaldo limps out of Real Madrid training but Zidane optimistic

MADRID -- Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo limped out of training on Tuesday to increase concerns over his fitness for Saturday's Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane had earlier admitted that Ronaldo was not at peak condition but was confident he would be in good shape by the weekend.

Ronaldo, 31, has been troubled by a thigh strain through recent weeks and missed the first leg of the semifinal against Manchester City.

He returned for the second leg against City and also played in the 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna on May 14, scoring both goals, but was substituted at half-time and has not played a full part in training sessions since then.

At Tuesday's practice, Ronaldo limped out after a clash with Dani Carvajal and backup goalkeeper Kiko Casilla late in a mini training game.

"I had a small problem in the training session, a 'sandwich' [bocadillo] as they say in Spain. But tomorrow or the day after I will be fine," he told reporters.

Ronaldo also said he is at his "best level" ahead of this weekend's showdown with Atletico in Milan.

Zidane told a news conference at Madrid's media open day at their Valdebebas training ground ahead of Tuesday's session that he was not concerned over the Portugal captain's availability.

"There will be no problem with that," Zidane said. "We had a game among ourselves on Saturday and [Ronaldo] didn't play, but [only] as a precaution as he felt something small. He is preparing for the final and I think we'll be in good shape physically -- in the shape that we must be in."

Zidane confirmed he will be without France centre-back Raphael Varane on Saturday due to his thigh injury, but James Rodriguez and Alvaro Arbeloa are set to be available after minor knocks.

"Physically we are good," he said. "James is a bit better, Arbeloa too. The only serious problem we have is Varane, who will not be ready for Saturday. I don't believe it is as serious as we first thought. I hope he can play at the Euros with France. It is a big blow for him."

Zidane, who replaced Rafa Benitez as Madrid coach in January, is hoping to help the club become champions of Europe for the 11th time, but he stressed that defeat at the San Siro should not be viewed as failure.

"Failure is not doing our work, not giving our best," Zidane said. "In a final everything can happen, for both teams. We have to prepare the game as best we can. We have had a bit of time to prepare and then let's see what happens on Saturday."

Zidane said Madrid had changed since they were beaten 1-0 by Atletico in La Liga in February, and his team are now more balanced and less focused on simply attacking.

"We have had two months since we lost against Atletico," he said. "We have done good work since then. It's not enough just to have the ball.

"There are other things. This is a game in which everything will happen. It will be difficult. We're playing against a team that only defends well. People say [Atletico] defend well, it's hard to score goals, but I think they are a complete team. They can play, they can make things difficult for you."

Asked if Madrid were now a better team than two years ago, when he was assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti as Atletico were beaten 4-1 in extra time in the Champions League final in Lisbon, Zidane said: "It's hard to say. The idea is try to be better on Saturday.

"The season has been good. The work we have done, the players have done phenomenal work. I don't want to compare. We're in good shape physically, but when the referee blows it's 50-50 and we will suffer until the end."