Real rocked as Varane adds to in­jury woes

The Citizen (KZN) - - INTERNACIONAL - Madrid

– Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zi­dane ad­mit­ted in­juries will force him into patch­ing up a makeshift de­fence for to­mor­row’s visit of Sevilla af­ter Raphael Varane (above) joined an in­creas­ing list of ab­sen­tees.

The French in­ter­na­tional limped off hold­ing his left leg as Madrid edged out Borus­sia Dort­mund 3-2 in a Cham­pi­ons League thriller on Wed­nes­day.

How­ever, with the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons al­ready hav­ing se­cured their place in the last-16 of the Cham­pi­ons League be­hind Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in Group H, Zi­dane was more con­cerned with how Varane’s ab­sence could af­fect a busy end to the year for Real.

Af­ter Sevilla, Zi­dane’s men jet off to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup be­fore host­ing Barcelona in the El Cla­sico on De­cem­ber 23.

To­mor­row is the French coach’s pri­mary con­cern, though, with Ser­gio Ramos, Dani Car­va­jal and Casemiro all sus­pended, while Je­sus Vallejo is also side­lined by in­jury, leav­ing Na­cho as Real’s only fit cen­tre­back.

“With Rafa he has done some dam­age to him­self, but we will see to­mor­row when we do the scans as al­ways,” said Zi­dane.

“He won’t be there on Saturday, that is for sure. We have to look for so­lu­tions.”

Real have pre­cious lit­tle room for er­ror as they al­ready trail La Liga lead­ers Barca by eight points.

And fur­ther for­ward, Madrid could again be with­out Gareth Bale due to a calf prob­lem.

In­juries aside, it was another en­joy­able Cham­pi­ons League night for Real as Cris­tiano Ron­aldo set yet another record.

The Por­tuguese fired a spec­tac­u­lar ef­fort into the top cor­ner to be­come the first player to ever score in all six group games in the one sea­son.

Ron­aldo’s Euro­pean form – he has nine in the Cham­pi­ons League in to­tal – is in stark con­trast to his strug­gles in La Liga, where he has scored just twice in 10 ap­pear­ances this sea­son. – AFP

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