ZINEDINE ZIDANE says Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted the need to rest – and insists the pair regularly discuss his fitness.
Ronaldo, 32, is set to sit out a fourth consecutive league away game at Granada tomorrow.
So far, the prolific Portuguese has missed eight of Real’s 34 league matches this season.
That’s in stark contrast to last year when he participated in 36 of 38, only absent due to a hamstring injury he sustained late in the campaign.
Zidane said last year that Ronaldo needed to rest more but it was difficult to convince him to sit out games. Now though, the superstar had accepted his new reality.
Zidane said: “I speak with Cristiano all the time and I know him very well.
“He knows that until now he played 60-70 games a season and the accumulation of all those years meant he needs to rest a little.
“I’m not the coach that has made him rest, all I know is that players need to rest, especially if they want to arrive at the final stage of the season in top condition.”
Real face the already-relegated Granada, who have lost their last five games, needing a win to stay level on points with La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Ronaldo is likely to miss out but Zidane’s decision will also be made to protect him.
The Portuguese would be suspended from next Sunday’s vital league game against Sevilla if booked against Granada.