But he did so amid growing speculation he's engineering a move back to Manchester United.
As the Champions League opened with a series of one-sided games, Jose Mourinho was blunt. "He only likes playing football and we are happy because he is in very good physical shape and also in good mental shape", commented Zidane, who nevertheless would not reveal whether Ronaldo would play in the central striking role. They play Anderlecht of Belgium at the Alliance Arena tonight at 6:45 pm. He's delighted to be back playing.
Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham fluffed their first attempt at the Champions League under him last season but insists there will be no excuses second time round. He's mentally very well, as well as physically.
"We need to challenge them".
He said: "I didn't hide anything and don't even know what I am doing here".
Ronaldo's five-game ban from a straight red in the Super Cup final means he still misses a further three La Liga ties.
The former Manchester United forward has hinted he would be happier in the Premier League after being hauled in front of a Spanish court over a £13.1million bill.
Real Madrid have won the last two editions of the UEFA Champions League and would be happy to start on a bright note as they host Apeol Nicosia from Cyprus.
Laughing off the quip Madrid have 'Cristianodependencia', he scoffed: "You know very well who Cristiano is". "We cannot talk about a dependency, but I always want him to be with us".
'I hope this path is short. "You're going to have to play them one way or another", said England international ahead of Wednesday's visit of Dortmund.
He'll also keep tabs on Asienso's foot complaint, but confirmed Raphael Varane has "completely recovered" from the abductor injury which saw him miss Madrid's last two games. "He's a guy I can learn a lot from".
"Tomorrow you'll see how we play".
Meanwhile Dortmund has not had so much upset though they got their first drop of points in a goalless draw during their Bundesliga match on Saturday.
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