With only nine days to go until the Champions League final, Cristiano Ronaldo is still Real Madrid's biggest concern. Not because of his injury, because the Portuguese is fit to play, but that's precisely what is generating debate: Should he play against Espanyol?
CR7 wants to play. He feels great, wants to play a part in the last league game of the season and, whilst he's at it, score the odd goal that would see him crowned La Liga's top goalscorer and guarantee him the Golden Boot.
The Portuguese has blind faith in his physical fitness and the fact that he rarely gets injured. However, his opinion is not shared by Real Madrid's medical staff, which has recommended that he rests. Ronaldo isn't injured, but he has suffered some severe muscle fatigue in recent weeks and the doctors think it prudent that he not push himself.
Not playing against Espanyol would ensure that he arrive fully fit in Lisbon and that is the theory doctors are clinging to. The club itself would also prefer that he not play. "If there's one game to rest, it's this one," is the opinion emanating from the offices at the Santiago Bernabeu.
On the other hand, Carlo Ancelotti has been more diplomatic. He understands that CR7 wants to win the Golden Boot and would prefer to get some playing time in the league ahead of the Champions League final, but the Italian knows that playing him is taking an unnecessary risk.