Cristiano Ronaldo looks sharp in training as Real Madrid prepare for Athletic Bilbao clash

  • Cristiano Ronaldo could return after being rested against Malaga
  • Real Madrid are third in La Liga, 15 points behind leaders Barcelona
  • Zinedine Zidane’s side beat Malaga 2-1 away on Sunday 

Jeorge Bird For Mailonline

Cristiano Ronaldo has been rested for several of Real Madrid‘s recent La Liga fixtures, but the forward could return to action in Wednesday’s game at home to Athletic Bilbao.

Although Ronaldo was left out of the squad entirely for the 2-1 victory away to Malaga last weekend as Zinedine Zidane manages his star player carefully amidst the club’s Champions League campaign, the 33-year-old looked sharp in training on Tuesday.

Ronaldo was put through his paces along with the rest of the Real squad and seemed in good spirits despite his side being in third place in La Liga, some 15 points adrift of leaders Barcelona. 

Cristiano Ronaldo trained as Real Madrid prepared to face Athletic Bilbao

Cristiano Ronaldo trained as Real Madrid prepared to face Athletic Bilbao

Cristiano Ronaldo trained as Real Madrid prepared to face Athletic Bilbao

Ronaldo, along with team-mate Karim Benzema, was in good spirits during the session

Ronaldo, along with team-mate Karim Benzema, was in good spirits during the session

Ronaldo, along with team-mate Karim Benzema, was in good spirits during the session

Ronaldo has fun with midfielders Luka Modric and Casemiro in sunny conditions

Ronaldo has fun with midfielders Luka Modric and Casemiro in sunny conditions

Ronaldo has fun with midfielders Luka Modric and Casemiro in sunny conditions

Winger Gareth Bale will be hoping that he can make a major impact against Athletic

Winger Gareth Bale will be hoping that he can make a major impact against Athletic

Winger Gareth Bale will be hoping that he can make a major impact against Athletic

Gareth Bale, who also wasn’t involved against Malaga, was present in training and will be eager to make an impact if he is called upon.

With the La Liga title surely out of reach, Real’s main aim in the remainder of the season is to retain the Champions League, with an intriguing tie against Bayern Munich to come in the semi-finals.

They will, though, still be determined to finish strongly in the league and Zidane ran the rule over his players during a training session which took place in sunny conditions. 

Ronaldo was in focused mood as he prepared to take on Athletic at The Bernabeu

Ronaldo was in focused mood as he prepared to take on Athletic at The Bernabeu

Ronaldo was in focused mood as he prepared to take on Athletic at The Bernabeu

Benzema, who has scored just five goals in La Liga this season, was present at the session

Benzema, who has scored just five goals in La Liga this season, was present at the session

Benzema, who has scored just five goals in La Liga this season, was present at the session

Spaniards Theo Hernandez (left), Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio were in good spirits

Spaniards Theo Hernandez (left), Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio were in good spirits

Spaniards Theo Hernandez (left), Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio were in good spirits

Athletic are languishing in 14th place in La Liga and they were beaten 3-2 by Deportivo La Coruna last weekend.

Real drew 0-0 with Athletic when they met in the reverse fixture in December. 

Toni Kroos joined Vazquez and defender Dani Carvajal as Real stepped up their preparations

Toni Kroos joined Vazquez and defender Dani Carvajal as Real stepped up their preparations

Toni Kroos joined Vazquez and defender Dani Carvajal as Real stepped up their preparations

Captain Sergio Ramos is put through his paces as Real hope to secure another victory

Captain Sergio Ramos is put through his paces as Real hope to secure another victory

Captain Sergio Ramos is put through his paces as Real hope to secure another victory

Real boss Zinedine Zidane assessed his players ahead of their latest league fixture

Real boss Zinedine Zidane assessed his players ahead of their latest league fixture

Real boss Zinedine Zidane assessed his players ahead of their latest league fixture

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