Ronaldo, Pepe return to training
CRISTIANO Ronaldo and Pepe returned to Real Madrid yesterday to complete the European champions’ squad as they prepare to kick off their La Liga campaign in 11 days’ time.
The Portuguese pair have enjoyed a period of extended leave to recover from their international exertions in winning Euro 2016 last month.
Both players were allowed to miss Tuesday night’s Uefa Super Cup win over Sevilla but were back at the club’s Valdebebas while their team-mates took the day off.
Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Martin Odegaard were also at Real’s headquarters on the outskirts of Madrid as they work up their fitness for the new season.
Ronaldo and Pepe took part in a short indoor session before heading outside for some running while also spending some time in the Valdebebas gym.
Manager Zinedine Zidane oversaw the sessions, resuming work just hours after the Super Cup celebrations in Trondheim, Norway.
His team triumphed despite the absence of some of their most notable stars but the Frenchman will be glad to welcome back the talents of Ronaldo and Pepe.
The former was always likely to miss the clash with Sevilla after suffering a serious knee injury in the final of Euro 2016 while the latter was afforded some extra time off after a strenuous season.
Both players helped Real to win the Champions League, beating Atletico Madrid in the final, before going all the way with Portugal.
Zidane is still looking to add to his squad after missing out on Paul Pogba to Manchester United but said on Tuesday night that he was confident in the group he currently has at his disposal, boosted by the return of the Portuguese duo.
“We’ve got a big enough squad, that’s for sure,” Zidane said. “If we’re not able to sign anyone we’ve got the numbers in the squad and there are four of five who weren’t here today.
“We’ve got young players and others who’ve got the experience. The most important thing is the group and our squad has got depth to it.” — Dailymail.