Ralf Rangnick insists Cristiano Ronaldo is ready for Manchester United’s Champions League last-16 second leg with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Ronaldo ended a run of one goal in ten games with a brilliant hat-trick in the club’s 3-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday evening and now faces a second crunch clash in just three days against Atletico.
The two teams meet at Old Trafford tomorrow evening with the tie poised at 1-1 and Rangnick insists the 37-year-old Ronaldo will be ready despite the quick turnaround.
Ronaldo has enjoyed an excellent goalscoring record against the Spanish side and has netted 25 goals in just 36 career appearances against Atletico.
Rangnick praised the forward’s match-winning contribution against Spurs and is hopeful Ronaldo can deliver once again for the Red Devils.
“I’m not worried that he’s not been able to recover, he’s always been a person that looks after himself and his body, He knows what to do,” Rangnick told his pre-match press conference.
“If he can score another three goals, we will see. It’s not easy to score three goals against this team at all. His overall performance [against Tottenham] was good, if not very good, and this is what we hope to see from him again tomorrow night.”
Atletico Madrid created the better chances during the first meeting between the teams last month, though Anthony Elanga’s late equaliser has handed United a slight advantage ahead of the home return.
Rangnick says his side have learned lessons from the first encounter and has called on his side to bring energy into the contest with the La Liga champions.
“It’s not just about Cristiano, it’s about the whole team, we saw in the first half in Madrid, what we shouldn’t do, how we shouldn’t play and this was a big topic for us yesterday and today, pre-match before tomorrow’s game. We have to know what it takes and tactically takes and the rest is about energy.”
United have been boosted ahead of the clash with Diego Simeone’s side, with Bruno Fernandes set to return after missing the win over Spurs last weekend.
Rangnick revealed he has almost a full compliment of players to choose from, though Luke Shaw remains a doubt.
“We have all the players available for the game tomorrow. There is a small question mark behind Luke Shaw, he has been training yesterday and today, but we have to wait and see until he if he is fully fit to see if he’s available for the game.
“All the other players are back in training and are available. No, he [Fernandes] tested negative yesterday and that was the reason he could train today.”