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Saturday, 08 August 2020

Ronaldo, Kroos rest gives Real Madrid boost

Ronaldo was left out of Fernando Santos's 23-man squad for friendlies against Russia and Luxembourg

AFP , Saturday 7 Nov 2015
Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Las Palmas during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 (AP)
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Real Madrid were handed a welcome boost ahead of their blockbuster clash with Barcelona on November 21 as Cristiano Ronaldo and Toni Kroos became the latest Real stars to be rested by their national teams.

Portugal captain Ronaldo was left out of Fernando Santos's 23-man squad for friendlies against Russia and Luxembourg, while Kroos will skip Germany's clashes with France and the Netherlands.

Influential midfielder Luka Modric had already been left out the Croatia squad for his country's friendly with Russia.

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will also stay in Madrid over the next fortnight to prepare for the first El Clasico of the season for different reasons.

Bale was omitted by Wales boss Chris Coleman as he has been sidelined for the past three weeks with a calf problem.

Benzema has also missed the last month with a hamstring injury and France coach Didier Deschamps decided against calling-up the 27-year-old after he was charged with complicity to blackmail and conspiring to commit a criminal act in his homeland on Thursday in an extortion case involving a sex tape featuring international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Left-back Marcelo will also not travel to South America for Brazil's World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Peru next week due to a thigh injury.

Madrid coach Rafael Benitez called for there to be fewer international friendlies earlier this season after losing a number of players to prolonged spells on the sidelines due to injuries picked up with their national teams.

Bale, Benzema and Brazilian fullback Danilo have all been affected, while Colombian star James Rodriguez hasn't featured for two months since suffering a thigh tear in a fiendly against Peru in September.

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