Ronaldo: Madrid looked good without me

The Portugal international has missed two games with a minor muscle strain and is impressed that his unavailability has had no effect on Los Blancos' form
Cristiano Ronaldo feels Real Madrid have shown that they have what it takes to cope without him, singling Gareth Bale out for particular praise for stepping up to the mark in his injury-enforced absence.

The 28-year-old attacker has been out of action since picking up a muscle strain in the Liga win over Almeria on November 23 but the Portugal international's unavailability has barely affected Carlo Ancelotti's men, who routed Galatasaray 4-1 before hammering Valladolid 4-0 last weekend.

Bale netted four times across the two games and Ronaldo has been impressed with the way in which the Welshman and the rest of his Blancos colleagues have made light of his unavailability.

"They put in very strong performances and were very strong without me. We played two games at home and that’s always easier, but the team responded perfectly," the attacker told Marca.

"Gareth performed amazingly in both games. He's adapting exceptionally well and playing great."

Ronaldo feels that Madrid's performances have only vindicated his decision to take a cautious approach to his rehabilitation.

"I feel great now," he enthused. "I'll come back fully fit and then we have two very important away league games, against Osasuna and Valencia."