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Ancelotti not ruling Ronaldo out of Copa final

The Portugal star remains a major doubt for the Mestalla showpiece with a hamstring injury.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has refused to rule Cristiano Ronaldo out of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final against Barcelona but says he won’t take any risks with his star player.

Ronaldo suffered a suspected knee injury in the 3-0 Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund on April 2 and missed Tuesday’s return fixture at Signal Iduna Park as well as last weekend's Liga victory at Real Sociedad.

It then emerged Thursday that the Portugal international had suffered a muscular problem in his left hamstring, with reports in Spain suggesting that he could be out for another two weeks, thus ruling out an appearance against Barca in Valencia next week.

However, Ancelotti was non-committal when asked about the Ballon d'Or holder's availability at Friday’s press conference.

“I don’t know if Cristiano will play on Wednesday; we will have to wait and see,” he said. “He has a small injury. He could feature in the Copa del Rey final but we won’t take any risks.”

Prior to the cup clash, Madrid hosts Almeria at the Bernabeu on Saturday and Ancelotti is focusing on the more immediate challenge.

“We have to be at our best physically and mentally to beat Almeria,” he added. “We have a good opportunity to do our best in La Liga and we also have enough time to focus on the Copa.”

With Xabi Alonso suspended, Ancelotti confirmed Asier Illarramendi will start in central midfield for Madrid, which heads into the weekend in third place, three points adrift of leader Atletico and two behind Barcelona with six rounds of the season remaining.

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