Carlo Ancelotti, has ruled Cristiano Ronaldo out of the Copa del Rey final tomorrow night.
Ronaldo has missed the last three games due to his recent injury problems, but Ancelotti was hopeful the Portuguese could be ready for the Spanish cup final.
However, the Italian coach has now confirmed he won’t risk the 29-year-old ahead of busy season run-in.
“Cristiano will not be available tomorrow. It is confirmed. The team (has) always reacted well to anbsences,” Ancelotti said in his pre-match press conference.
"Cristiano didn't rest before because he didn't need it, no special condition and he wasn't tired."
"But now Cristiano is not available because we do not want to take risks with him."
Ancelotti has highlighted the importance of stopping Barcelona’s domination with the ball, which his side was unable to do in their two La Liga defeats against their ‘historic rivals’ this season.
"The Copa del Rey is similar in importance to the FA Cup, we are going to play against Barcelona, our historic rival,” he added.
"In recent games Barcelona have had much control over the ball, to win the game we have to block this."
"In the Bernabeu game we have played well but had some errors, and We played half an hour very good, now we have to play 90min."
When asked whether he practiced penalties with his players, Ancelotti said: "We've trained penalties, but pulling a penalty in a final is a psychological problem, not technical."
This is the seventh Copa del Rey final between the two Spanish giants, with each of them claiming three titles so far.
Who will step up and fill Cristiano Ronaldo’s gap? Have your say in the comment section below.