Cristiano Ronaldo watched the second half of “El Clasico” in agony.
The Real Madrid superstar exited Sunday’s game vs. Barcelona at halftime due to a slight ankle sprain, his team announced, according to Spanish journalist Jaime Rodriguez. The soccer world gasped when Marco Asensio replaced Ronaldo at the start of the second half, and Real Madrid wasted little time in explaining the decision.
Ronaldo appeared to injure his right ankle in the 15th minute when he collided with Barcelona’s Gerrard Pique while scoring the tying goal.
Real Madrid medical staff treated Ronaldo on the field moments after he scored. He played the rest of the half but didn’t return after the interval. He likely will undergo an MRI scan this week to determine the extent of the injury.
Ronaldo’s injury raises questions about his fitness ahead of the 2018 UEFA Champions League final. Real Madrid will face Liverpool on May 26 in Kiev, Ukraine, in the deciding game of European soccer’s elite competition.
Portugal also will be nervous about Ronaldo’s ankle as the 2018 FIFA World Cup approaches. He’s Portugal’s captain and chief attacking threat, and the country’s hopes for success likely will climb or fall on Ronaldo’s injury diagnosis.
Real Madrid and FC Barcelona ultimately drew 2-2.