Alonso not getting carried away
Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso expects there to be plenty of highs and lows between now and the end of the season. Jose Mourinho's side lead Barcelona at the top of La Liga by three points with a game in hand, with the teams set to meet early next month.
While Real have lost just one league game all season and qualified for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with ease, Alonso is refusing to get too carried away. He told marca.com: "This season we have taken a step forward. We have a fantastic defence, with a great attack and we do not stop. Collectively we are working very well and we all benefit from that. We'll see how it goes this season. Sure we take plenty of joy, but also some disappointment, for sure. There is a long way to go."
Alonso revealed Cristiano Ronaldo did not train today for a second day as a result of an ankle sprain and contusion suffered in a challenge with Luis Perea during Saturday's 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid. "He has not trained with the team, but hopefully he can get to the game with Sporting Gijón (at the weekend). Perea's tackle was hard but luckily not as serious as it could have been. We accept that football is a contact sport, sometimes you get it, sometimes you give it."
Alonso would not be drawn on the yellow card issued to Barcelona's Gerard Pique in their 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano last night which ensures he will not miss El Clasico. Pique was booked seven minutes from the end for time-wasting, provoking some controversy. However, Alonso would only say: "It is not for me to talk about this issue - this is another club and another player."
Real Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho has suffered a sprained right knee in training, his club announced today. The news is a major blow for the 33-year-old, who has spent the last two months on the sidelines with a back injury.
It is not known exactly how long the former Chelsea man will be sidelined but he is already a major doubt for the Clasico against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu on 10 December. Carvalho's last appearance came in the 3-0 Champions League win over Ajax in late September.