Friday Kickoff: Ronaldo to be rested; Mourinho could sell Torres, Eto'o, Ba; and more

Friday Kickoff: Ronaldo to be rested; Mourinho could sell Torres, Eto'o, Ba; and more

South American Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Ronaldo to be rested; Mourinho could sell Torres, Eto'o, Ba; and more

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid goes down injured and has to be substituted

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Real Madrid won’t gamble with Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-term health this weekend.

Ahead of their La Liga tie against Real Sociedad, Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters at a press conference that Ronaldo would be rested for Saturday’s match, as he heals a lingering knee injury. Ronaldo came off in the 80th minute of Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory against Borussia Dortmund last Wednesday and left the field with a noticeable limp.

“We’re going to give Cristiano a rest, he’s weary,” Ancelotti said. “We’re doing this to avoid any risks. There are a lot of important games ahead of us and we prefer him to sit this one out. He can train tomorrow and Sunday to be ready for Tuesday’s game.

“On Tuesday he’ll have fresh legs and will be able to get over the niggles he has from all the games. It’s just to give him a few days to recover.”

Ronaldo has already played 41 times in all competitions for Real Madrid this season in addition to six more matches for Portugal since last summer.

Here are some more stories to kick off your weekend:

MOURINHO CONTEMPLATING PURGE OF FORWARDS

Chelsea’s front line could have a completely different look next season.

In the fallout from Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, a number of reports in England are pointing to manager Jose Mourinho cleaning-house of Chelsea’s forward depth this summer, with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba, Samuel Eto’o, and on-loan forward Romelo Lukaku being let go.

In exchange, Chelsea would have enough money to be able to go after Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa and Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic, two players who have been linked with Chelsea in the past few weeks.

At a press conference on Friday, Mourinho said that he believes Torres still has a future at the club but Mourinho expects more from the Spanish international.

ARSENAL BOOSTED WITH RAMSEY’S RETURN

For the first time in three months, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey will be part of the game day squad.

Following three months on the sidelines with a thigh injury, Ramsey has been included in the Arsenal squad ahead of their key match against Everton on Sunday. It’s not known yet whether the Wales international will start but he’s expected to be available for selection.

“Having someone like Ramsey, who can help the team be successful, is very important,” Wenger told reporters in at a press conference. “He has worked very hard in training [but] what he lacks is competition.”

Ramsey last played for Arsenal on Dec. 26 in a 3-1 victory at West Ham, when he went off with his original thigh injury. Since then, he’s suffered a number of setbacks but looks finally set to put those problems behind him.

QUICK KICKS

A labor official in Sao Paulo, Brazil told a local newspaper that safety inspectors have been “looking the other way” to allow the Arena Corinthians to be finished in time for the start of the World Cup. (REPORT)

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero is set to miss out on this Saturday’s match against Southampton as he returns to match fitness. (REPORT)

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has taken a job at the Harvard Business School. (REPORT)

Barcelona’s Director of Football, Andoni Zubizarreta, submitted his resignation to the club on Wednesday but it was rejected. (REPORT)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed the transfer ban on Barcelona, claiming that because they broke the rules, they deserve the punishment. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think Real Madrid is right to rest Ronaldo? Do you see Chelsea selling their entire forward line? Do you expect Ramsey to start against Everton?

Share your thoughts below.

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