Real Madrid striker
Ronaldo is raring to return to action in Saturday's match against former
club Barcelona after over a month out with an ankle injury. "I've
undergone 20 days of very intense treatment and have done three or four
training sessions and now I'm ready to play," the Brazilian
international told a news conference on Thursday.
"The ankle is a delicate area especially for a striker, who has to
change direction all the time, but I've worked hard during the whole
"I'm happy with what I've done, I feel good and I'm ready for the game
although it will be up to the coach to decide how much I play. Like the
rest of the team I will be at 100 percent for the match."
Ronaldo, who suffered a partial ligament tear in his left ankle after
scoring two goals in last month's 3-0 Primera Liga win over Atletico
Madrid, is Real's leading scorer with seven league goals this season.
"It hurts when you can't be there to help the team," he said. "But it's
a long season and the important thing is that we are still up there and
have a good chance to win this game, earn ourselves more points and then
go on to win the league."
The 29-year-old Brazilian dismissed suggestions that in-form Barcelona
were the overwhelming favourites for Saturday's clash at the Bernabeu.
"I don't think there are any favourites. I've never seen any team win a
match before the kickoff, not Brazil, not Spain, nor any other team.
"We don't have to prove anything to anybody. It is a game that is worth
three points just like any other and we have to make sure we win it
especially as it is at home.
"We have the quality to beat any team in the world."
Responding to comments from Barcelona players and coach Frank Rijkaard
who said this week that they hoped Ronaldo would be able to play, the
Brazilian replied: "I wonder if they will be so happy after the game."
He also had a message for Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o who will return
to the Bernabeu for the first time since insulting his former club
during the Catalans' title celebrations at the end of last season.
"Eto'o will get the reception he deserves from the Real Madrid fans. He
said things that weren't very intelligent.
"You have to understand the Real Madrid fans. I have been jeered many
times in my career and I don't know how he will be received. But the
fans have to give an example just like the rest of the club."
Eto'o chanted derogatory comments about Real into the microphone during
a speech at the Nou Camp after Barca won the title last May.
The Cameroon international apologised the following day for his comments.
Ronaldo, however, had praise for his compatriot Ronaldinho, the
Barcelona forward who is favourite to win this year's European
footballer of the year award.
"If it is true (reports that he has won the award) I think he deserves
it, he's a great player and a great friend and he's had an outstanding
year," said Ronaldo who won the prestigious prize in 1997 and 2002.