Injury update: Marcelo (hamstring) and Sergio Ramos (hamstring) returned to group training on Wednesday. Mesut Özil (ankle), Sami Khedira (?), and Álvaro Arbeloa (back) made their returns within the past week. Only Raphaël Varane (knee) is still in the sick bay. A reported four to six-week recovery is expected after his meniscus surgery on Monday.
Injury update: Reporters from Cadena SER and AS expect Cristiano Ronaldo [photographed above] will be rested for tomorrow’s derby. In today’s training, he made 3 laps around the pitch then moved to the gym to continue work with the physios. He has reportedly been nursing pain in his left thigh since warming up in last Wednesday’s UCL match. The belief is that he will be just fine for Tuesday’s return leg.
Apart from Ronaldo and Marcelo (thigh), Arbeloa (back) and Modrić (calf) were also missing from today’s session.
Injury update: Arbeloa’s lower back pain has relapsed. Almost certainly discarded from playing against Dortmund. Essien is fully recovered.
Injury update: It is being widely reported that Marcelo has been ruled out for 3 weeks due to a left hamstring injury. In addition, Luka Modrić’s calf strain will likely keep him out of Wednesday’s UCL match. Although Diego López (ribs) and Karim Benzema (ankle) picked up niggles yesterday, they aren’t expected to miss any action. Modrić, López and Benzema trained indoors during today’s session. Álvaro Arbeloa returned to pitch side training today but worked apart from the others.
Students from the RM Foundation’s inclusive school mimicking Cristiano Ronaldo’s FK stance | April 16, 2013
Arbeloa training with children from the Real Madrid Foundation’s inclusive football school | April 16, 2013
April 13, 2013
Karanka press conference - (video)
- thoughts on the SF draw: “Dortmund is the team against which we couldn’t win this season, so, again, anybody who thinks this is going to be easy and takes it for granted that we will play the final is pretty wrong.”
- the possibility of Casillas starting since San Mamés is where he debuted and this will be the last time the club will play there: “I think San Mamés is special for any player. Of course, it’s even more special to Iker, because he made his debut there, but it’s special to everybody —to me, to Xabi Alonso who comes from Real Sociedad, to Sergio Ramos who played hundreds of times there… I can’t tell you whether he’ll play or not, because the players haven’t been told yet and it’s only fair that they find out first.”
- his future, should Mourinho decide to leave: “I’ve answered that question several times. I’ve been working alongside this coach and technical staff for two years and a half, almost three years. I’ve been learning and enjoying more and more day after day, despite the fact that it might look otherwise or that a lot of people try to promote that idea. I’m delighted to work with a coach who is respected internationally by the best football professionals —players, managers, coaches. I am proud to say that I have 5 more friends. And when this comes to an end, whether it is this year, next year or in ten years time, I’ll make a decision.”
Call-ups (20 players)
- Keepers: Casillas, Adán, López
- Defenders: Albiol, Carvalho, Coentrão, Marcelo, Nacho, Pepe, Ramos, Varane
- Midfielders: Alonso, Callejón, Di María, Khedira, Modrić
- Forwards: Benzema, Higuaín, Morata, Ronaldo
Arrival in Bilbao (video) | Autographs (Benzema and Varane)
Injury update: Karanka mentioned that 4 players were injured or ill — Kaká (discomfort in an unspecified location), Özil (ill), Essien (hamstring), Arbeloa (back).
Next match: Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid - Sunday, 9 PM CEST | 3 PM EST
Celta youth asking for shirts | Morais passing along an Inter scarf signed by Mourinho (45:06)
Barcelona 0-3 Real Madrid | Varane 68’
- Varane, who scored in both legs of the semi-final tie, is the 2nd youngest Real Madrid player to score at the Camp Nou (behind Sanchis).