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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

As Real Madrid prepare for Fifa Club World Cup in UAE and Clasico, Zidane worries about injury list

Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund in Uefa Champions League group match, but manager shifts focus to Varane and other absentees

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six Uefa Champions League group-stage matches in a season. Francisco Seco / AP Photo
Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six Uefa Champions League group-stage matches in a season. Francisco Seco / AP Photo

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane conceded injuries will force him into patching up a makeshift defence for Saturday's visit of Sevilla after Raphael Varane joined an increasing list of absentees.

The French international limped off holding his left leg as Madrid edged out Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in an Uefa Champions League thriller on Wednesday.

However, with the defending champions already having secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League behind Tottenham Hotspur in Group H, Zidane was more concerned with how Varane's absence could affect a busy end to the year for Madrid.

After Sevilla, Zidane's men jet off to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup before hosting Barcelona in the Clasico on December 23.

Saturday is the French manager's primary concern, though, with Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro all suspended, while Jesus Vallejo is also sidelined by injury leaving Nacho as Madrid's only fit centre-back.

Huge turnout of Borussia Dortmund fans

"With Rafa he has done some damage to himself, but we will see tomorrow when we do the scans as always," Zidane said. "He won't be there Saturday that is for sure. We have to look for solutions."

Madrrid have precious little room for error as they already trail the Primera Liga leaders Barca by eight points.

And further forward, Madrid could again be without Gareth Bale due to a calf problem.

"I feel for the injured players, today it is Rafa but that is why we have a squad," Zidane added.

However, the Frenchman did not rule out the possibility that the latest spate of injuries could force the club to reinforce the squad come January.

"We have the possibility [to sign] from January 1 and we will see what happens in these 30 days."

Injuries aside, it was another enjoyable Champions League night for Real as Cristiano Ronaldo set yet another record in the competition.

The Portuguese, who is expected to pick up his fifth Ballon d'Or on Thursday, fired a spectacular effort into the top corner to become the first player to ever score in all six group games in the one season.

The fitness of Real Madrid's Raphael Varane, in white, is a cause for concern. Rodrigo Jimenez / EPA
The fitness of Real Madrid's Raphael Varane, in white, is a cause for concern. Rodrigo Jimenez / EPA

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Ronaldo's European form - he has nine in the Champions League in total - is in stark contrast to his struggles in the Primera Liga, where he has scored just twice in 10 appearances this season.

"We wanted to end the group phase well with a win. I scored a great goal and got the record as well which is important, so I'm very happy," Ronaldo said.

Madrid could face the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Manchester United or Liverpool in Monday's last-16 draw.

However, Ronaldo says the 12-time winners are capable of an upturn in form in the new year to carry them to a third straight Champions League title.

"It is obvious that I like playing in this competition a lot, but the most important thing is to be able to get into the next round once more," he said.

"Hopefully Real Madrid can win it for a third straight year."

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