Milan: In Italy, Cristiano Ronaldo’s physical form and work ethic continue to make an impression at Juventus.
“His training sessions have shocked me,” Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi said. “After the long trip to Manchester (United) in the Champions League, we were all tired, but the next day, he trained harder than anyone else.”
Ronaldo has scored seven goals in the opening 10 rounds, putting him second behind the nine from Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek.
Juventus will be hoping for another strong performance from Ronaldo against Cagliari on Saturday after they struggled in their last two league matches — a 1-1 draw with Genoa and a 2-1 comeback win at Empoli, where Ronaldo scored twice.
With Julen Lopetegui gone, Real Madrid try to get things going in La Liga when they faces Valladolid on Saturday at the Bernabeu.
Madrid have lost four of their last five league games, including three straight, while Valladolid are unbeaten in six matches with four victories in that run. The club owned by former Brazil striker Ronaldo are sixth in the standings, two points in front of ninth-place Madrid.
Still searching for a new coach, Madrid are likely to keep Santiago Solari in interim charge on the bench on Saturday. Solari’s first match in control of the team was the 4-0 win over third-division Melilla in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday.
Madrid are expected to face Valladolid without Marcelo, Raphael Varane and Mariano Diaz because of injuries.
Barcelona, still without the injured Lionel Messi, visit Rayo Vallecano later on Saturday. They are seven points in front of Madrid.
Surprising Alaves, one point off the lead, visit Eibar on Sunday, and third-place Sevilla play at Real Sociedad, who are yet to win at home this season.
Fourth-place Atletico Madrid, two points behind Barcelona, visit crosstown opponents Leganes on Saturday.