Ronaldo in Madrid squad for Man United reunion
Real coach Zidane unlikely to include the Portuguese star in playing XI
Cristiano Ronaldo could feature against his former club Manchester United in UEFA Super Cup after being included in the squad
Real Madrid is a team, a club, an institution that has hunger
Madrid, Spain - Cristiano Ronaldo could feature against his former club Manchester United in Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup after being included in Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane's squad for the trip to Skopje, Macedonia. The match kicks off at 10.45pm.
Ronaldo's summer has been overshadowed by accusations of tax evasion in Spain, which led to him being appearing in court last week, and speculation over his future.
According to a report from Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Ronaldo told the court he "would like to return to England" due to his tax troubles in Spain.
The World Player of the Year only returned to training with his Real teammates on Saturday as he was handed an extended summer break after playing for Portugal at the Confederations Cup and is still not expected to start.
However, as is common for showpiece occasions, Zidane has decided to take his entire 24-man squad to Macedonia.
It would be a major surprise if Zidane was to include the 32 year old against his former club in the match at the Philip II Arena in the Macedonian capital.
"He needed to rest. He has had his holidays and that was important," said Zidane of the man whose two goals helped propel Madrid to a 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final in Cardiff two months ago. That victory saw Real become the first club to retain the trophy in the Champions League era and completed a glorious campaign in which it also won Spanish League.
The season started with a 3-2 extra-time triumph against Sevilla in the Super Cup in the Norwegian city of Trondheim.
"Real Madrid is a team, a club, an institution that has hunger. We all know where we are and when you finish a season like last year winning, it helps you try to do the same thing coming into the new season," Zidane - whose team has Barcelona to come at the weekend in the Spanish Super Cup - told UEFA.com.
However, his side failed to record a victory during a pre-season tour of the US that included a high-profile friendly encounter with
United in Santa
That International Champions Cup encounter ended in a 1-1 draw before United won on penalties.
While the Spaniards have made two relatively low-key summer signings in Dani Ceballos from Betis and Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid, United has spent big ahead of its return to the Champions League.
The Europa League winner has added the defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica, the midfielder Nemanja Matic from Chelsea and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and it wrapped up its preparations with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria in Dublin.
Mourinho plays down reunion
This match offers a chance for United to start the new campaign on a high before its opening English Premier League game against West Ham United next Sunday. In a glittering career Mourinho has not yet won the Super Cup - his Chelsea team lost on penalties to Bayern Munich in the 2013 edition.
The Portuguese is coming up against the club he coached for three years until 2013 - he did not leave the Spanish capital on the best of terms but he insisted that experience is not on his mind this week. "It's something I've been through many times. I left Porto and two months later I was facing it in the Champions League," he told UEFA.com.
"I left Chelsea and a few months later I was facing it with Manchester United. I never look at it in terms of taking on my former club, not at all. So I just look at Real Madrid as what it is: a big club, the European champion, and it's a great motivation for us to play against it."
This annual meeting of the European champion and Europa League winner is in contrast to the cool conditions in Norway 12 months ago, temperatures in Skopje are expected to reach 40°C for much of the week.