MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid rested Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos for their La Liga game at home to Leganes on Saturday as coach Zinedine Zidane rotated his squad ahead of next week’s Champions League semi-final, second leg against Bayern Munich.
France defender Raphael Varane was also left out of the squad as Zidane looks to keep his side fresh for Tuesday’s return against the Bundesliga champions, with the Madrid side leading 2-1 from the first game in Munich.
Zidane has made a habit of leaving top scorer Ronaldo, 33, out of the squad for away games in the last two months to keep him in ideal shape for Champions League games.
However, this is the first time the Portugal forward will have missed a home league fixture since he was unable to play in the 1-1 draw with Levante on Sept. 9 through suspension.
The absence of captain Ramos and Varane plus injuries to Dani Carvajal and Nacho Fernandez means Real only have five defenders in the squad, including 21-year-old Alvaro Tejero who has only ever had two minutes of league action and has not made an appearance this season.
Spain midfielder Isco is also injured after being forced off during the win at Bayern with a shoulder problem.
Real are third in the Liga standings on 68 points, 15 adrift of runaway leaders Barcelona and four behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, who both play on Sunday.
If Madrid do not beat Leganes they will be mathematically knocked out of the title race, while if Atletico also fail to win at Alaves on Saturday, Barcelona will be crowned champions before their game against Deportivo La Coruna kicks off.
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris