The coach light-heartedly suggested that the Portuguese will make up for not getting on the scoresheet in their 4-0 thrashing of Cruz Azul at the weekend
Carlo Ancelotti says that Cristiano Ronaldo is “saving a goal” for the Club World Cup final after he failed to score in Real Madrid’s 4-0 hammering of Cruz Azul on Tuesday.
The Portuguese forward was excellent in the semi-final clash but Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Isco were the four players who instead adorned the scoresheet.
Most memorably, Ronaldo tested the Mexican opposition goalkeeper with an audacious, half-volleyed rabona, and Ancelotti was full of praise for his Ballon d’Or holder.
“Ronaldo played very well, he provided assists,” the Italian coach is quoted as saying by AS. “He’s always very effective, even when he doesn’t score. He is surely saving a goal for the final.
Ancelotti also praised club captain Iker Casillas after the veteran goalkeeper saved a Cruz Azul spot kick with score at 2-0 shortly before half-time.
“Casillas’ penalty save was key,” he added. “The game seemed to be over at 2-0 and they could have opened the tie up. He dived very well.
“It’s never easy but the team played well and won. Now we’ll see who we’ll get in the final.”
Casillas himself accepted that his save was potentially the turning point in the match, though he also pinpointed Bale’s goal – the third of the match for Madrid – as a catalyst in their stroll to the final in Marrakech.
“Once again, the team were great,” the shot-stopper said. “We put in a great performance collectively.
“Although it may have seemed easy with the 4-0 scoreline the truth is, at the beginning and the end of the first half, Cruz Azul had some attacks.
“If they had scored the penalty, it would have been 2-1. Then the third goal at the start of the second half calmed us down.”
Madrid’s 4-0 triumph sets up a final on Saturday with either Auckland City or San Lorenzo, with their Club World Cup semi-final to be played on Wednesday.