Zinedine Zidane will look to repeat this season’s successful management of Cristiano Ronaldo’s playing time in the 2017/18 LaLiga campaign, following a meeting with Florentino Perez.
In the summer of 2016, the coach sat with the winger and decided that he would find his minutes cut in order to keep him fresh and ready for the season’s decisive moments – a decision which reaped great rewards as Real won LaLiga and the Champions League.
Both Zidane and Ronaldo have come to the conclusion that for Madrid to win major honours, it is not necessary for him to play in every game, but him importance to the side in the big games remains enormous.
Over the summer, Ronaldo will be given a month’s holiday upon completion of Portugal’s involvement in the Confederations Cup, which is set to conclude on July 2, giving him similar time off to those involved in the European Under-21 Championship.
Unlike last season, the Madrid forward should arrive for pre-season in full fitness and not needing to continue recovery from injury, meaning he will thus be up to match sharpness sooner than he was at the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign.
Because of his resting time and Portugal’s participation in the Confederations Cup, Ronaldo is not expected to join the squad for their time in the USA, meaning he will almost certainly miss out on Los Blancos’ game against Barcelona in Miami on July 29.
The most likely possibility is that his first pre-season game comes in the Supercopa de Espana fixture against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and he’ll look to build up his match fitness from then on.
Like last season, the ultimate aim of Zidane and his superstar forward is to achieve his physical peak at the season’s end, in order for Ronaldo to be as decisive next season as Real seek more silverware.