Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insists he is not concerned by the form of World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo as he prepares his side for a trip to Schalke in the Champions League last 16.
Real recorded a laboured 2-0 success over Deportivo at the Bernabeu on Saturday but Ronaldo failed to put his name on the scoresheet.
The brilliance of the Portuguese winger has waned in recent weeks, his blank against Deportivo meaning he has failed to score in three consecutive La Liga matches for the first time since February 2011.
By Ronaldo’s dangerously high standards, Saturday was once again not up to scratch, although he did rattle the crossbar during the first half.
Despite the relatively barren streak, Ancelotti has leapt to the defence of his talisman.
“He didn’t score but he was dangerous,” Ancelotti said. “A crossbar, an assist (for Karim Benzema), he could have scored, he didn’t miss passes and the technical evaluation of his match is positive.”
Ronaldo amassed a record haul of 17 Champions League goals last season and his form will be crucial to Real’s dreams of landing an 11th European crown and becoming the first team to successfully defend the Champions League.
Madrid are 1.41 to win their first leg in Germany on Wednesday with Schalke 6.44 and the draw 4.64.
The sides met at the same stage of the competition last season with Real recording a thumping 6-1 victory in Germany before defeating the Bundesliga outfit 3-1 in the Spanish capital for a comfortable success on their way to defeating city rivals Atletico in the final in May.