Mourinho waits on recovering Ronaldo for Real’s Lyon test

JOSE MOURINHO was unable to shed any light on whether Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo would be fit for Real Madrid’s Champions League clash against Lyon tonight when he briefed the media yesterday.

The £80 million striker, 26, damaged his hamstring in the 7-0 thrashing of Malaga on March 3, and at the time of the injury, the club stated he would be sidelined for between 10 and 15 days. Mourinho must now decide whether Ronaldo is ready to feature for the nine-time European champions, with the tie well poised at 1-1 from the first leg.

He said: “I don’t know whether he is going to play or not. We’ll wait until the final training session to decide. I will leave it to the medical department to decide. If he is well, he will play. But you’ll have to wait a little.”

Madrid’s recent record in the competition is in stark contrast to their position as the most decorated team in the tournament’s history, having been dumped out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage in each of the last six seasons. Lyon were the team who eliminated them last term, denying Madrid the possibility of playing in the final at the Bernabeu.

Mourinho, who won that final with Inter Milan, refused to read too much into Madrid’s own poor recent record or his own impressive form in the competition, having also won it as coach of Porto in 2004.

“Everyone has a past, positive and negative. But the past does not play a part,” he added.

“They are unique matches. The tie is open, although we have a tiny advantage when the game starts.”

Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has called on the Bernabeu crowd to give the team their full backing.

Spain’s World Cup-winning captain said: “We know that the environment in the Champions League is different and we need them (the crowd).

“The best moment I remember from the Champions League was a Real Madrid-Bayern tie in which we had to overcome a 2-1 deficit. The crowd turned to the team.

“We need the public to get behind us. People have to help us and, together, be in the quarter-finals.”

Lyon have never lost at the Bernabeu, having drawn in all three of their previous visits to Madrid.

On the injury front, aside from Ronaldo there is a question mark around Pedro Leon, who missed Madrid’s weekend win over Hercules with a knee injury. Sami Khedira and Ezequiel Garay both returned to the substitutes’ bench against Hercules, with the Germany midfielder coming on before the hour mark.

For Lyon, full-back Aly Cissokho (knee) missed out against Sochaux at the weekend, as did playmaker Yoann Gourcuff with a bruised toe.

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