Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is sweating over the availability of Sergio Ramos for the Fifa Club World Cup semi-final against Club America on Thursday (15 December) after the captain was unable to train with the rest of his teammates on Tuesday. The 30-year-old centre-back already missed Monday's workout, and the club are yet to reveal the reason behind his absences.
Ramos travelled to Japan with the rest of his teammates after playing a crucial part in the 3-2 victory over Deportivo la Coruna, scoring a dramatic winner in injury time just a week after netting the late equaliser in El Clasico against Barcelona.
But Real Madrid revealed on Monday that the captain was unable to take part in Los Blancos' first training session in Japan, and he also remained on the sidelines during Tuesday's workout.
"Real Madrid held their second training session in Japan ahead of Thursday's game against Club America in the semi-final of the Club World Cup. Zidane's side returned to work at the Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama in a session that focused on ball work. Sergio Ramos worked inside the facilities," the club confirmed.
Raphael Varane and Pepe would presumably form the the back-line against Club America should Ramos not be fully fit on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale is the only player definitely ruled out for the game, as he has stayed in Madrid to continue the recovery from his recent ankle surgery.
Ramos's recent good run in front of goal is nothing new. In the Club World Cup 2015 the Real Madrid centre-back scored both in the semi-final against Cruz Azul and the 2-0 victory over San Lorenzo in the final. The Spain international has good memories from that tournament and hopes to be fit to replicate that success in the coming clash with Club America.
"I've got great memories of that tournament," Ramos told FIFA.com. "It was my first Club World Cup and, having won La Décima, it was a great challenge, both collectively and individually.
"I remember so many good things about that competition. I scored in the semis and the final and they gave me the Golden Ball. When you win the title, though, it's just the icing on the cake. I get up every day with the same desire to keep on improving, which is what I've been doing since I was a kid. I'm not looking for recognition. All I want to do every year is to do even better, forget about what we've won and set new challenges for myself. I'll keep on going as long as the body allows.
"It's really important to get another piece of silverware in your trophy cabinet. It's also great for a professional player to be able to wear the Champions Badge for a year. We'd like to get it back as we had to pass it on last year."