Real Madrid’s hopes of Cristiano Ronaldo being fit for their Champions League semi-final, second leg with Manchester City on Wednesday were boosted as the Portuguese returned to training yesterday.
Ronaldo has missed Real’s last three games due to a thigh injury, but may be risked against City with the tie finely balanced at 0-0. “Cristiano Ronaldo worked with the group for the first half of the session, before training individually out on the pitch during the second half,” Madrid said in a statement.
The three-time World Player of the Year has been in blistering form in the Champions League this season, scoring 16 goals in 10 appearances, including a hat-trick in the second leg of their quarter-final with Wolfsburg to overcome a 2-0 first leg deficit. French striker Karim Benzema’s chances of recovering from a hamstring strain in the first leg look slimmer as he didn’t train with the rest of his teammates yesterday.
Hanover 96 player killed day after relegation
Having been relegated from the Bundesliga the day before, Hanover 96 were yesterday mourning their midfielder Niklas Feierabend after the 19-year-old was killed in a car crash. The youth team talent was only given a professional contract in February and had not made his debut in Germany’s top flight. “This morning we received the terrible news that our 19-year-old forward lost his life after a car crash in the early hours of this morning,” said the club in a statement on their website.
According to police, Feierabend was one of three backseat passengers who received fatal injuries when the car they were in left the road and hit a tree at 0545 (0345 GMT) yesterday morning.
He had played for Hanover 96’s youth team in a game against RB Leipzig on Saturday and Hanover’s reserve team game yesterday was called off out of respect for Feierabend’s family. Bottom side Hanover had their relegation from Germany’s top flight confirmed on Saturday when they were beaten 3-1 at home by Schalke—their 22nd defeat in 32 league games.
Ajax and PSV take Dutch title to wire
With one match to play, Ajax lead PSV Eindhoven on goal difference in the Dutch title race after the pair won again yesterday to remain neck-and-neck on 81 points each.
The Amsterdam outfit enjoy a goal difference of plus-6 over PSV after a 4-0 win over Twente and face 17th placed De Graafschap next week where they will seek to wrap up a 34th league title.
Defending champions PSV, who have 22 titles, enjoyed a 6-2 win Sunday over relegated Cambuur. “I still believe,” insisted Eindhoven coach Phillip Cocu. “My philosophy is to remain positive even when you are not in the best situation.”
Cocu takes his charges to seventh placed PEC Zwolle next weekend. The pair are 21 points clear of Feyenoord who beat Utrecht last week in the Dutch Cup.
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