Real Madrid will be without 2013 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo when it takes the field against rival Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final in Valencia on Wednesday night. The Portugal international has been sidelined from Real’s last two matches with knee and thigh muscle problems in his left leg and was ultimately ruled out of tomorrow’s final after being unable to train on Tuesday.
"Cristiano is not available because we do not want to take risks with him," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Tuesday before dismissing suggestions that Ronaldo’s injury could have been avoided with rest. "Cristiano did not rest because there was no need. There was no situation we saw that suggested he was tired and if he had been tired he would not have played. He has a problem that many players have at this stage of the season.” The Italian added: "We protect Cristiano in the same way we try to protect all the players as much as possible. It could be a risk playing him and we are not going to take that risk as there are very important games still to come."