Gareth Bale

Ronaldo out of Madrid squad for Sevilla clash

Ronaldo also missed the first leg of the round of 16 tie, with Madrid cruising to a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu without their star attacker.

He then returned to the starting XI for the 5-0 win over Granada at the weekend, but will be allowed to sit out Thursday's clash again.

Modric, meanwhile, has featured for the full 90 minutes in Madrid's first two games of 2017, but Zidane does not need the Croatia international at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Zidane's Madrid on cusp of setting new unbeaten record

When Zidane replaced Rafa Benitez midway through last season, the inexperienced former midfield standout got off to an auspicious start with a 5-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna.

Eleven months and one Champions League title later, Madrid faces Deportivo again at home on Saturday with the chance of surpassing its longest unbeaten run since the club was founded in 1902.

On Wednesday, Madrid equaled a club record of 34 games without a loss set in 1989 under coach Leo Beenhakker when it drew 2-2 with Borussia Dortmund.

Real Madrid favourite to add Club World Cup title to honours

Madrid has a shot at becoming the first team to win the Champions League, Spanish league, Spain's Copa del Rey, and the Club World Cup in the same season. It leads the Spanish league, is through to the knockout stage of the Champions League, and is alive in the Copa del Rey.

The tournament kicks off on Thursday in Yokohama with newly crowned J-League champion Kashima Antlers facing Oceania champion Auckland City for a chance to advance to the second round.

Messi hurt in Barca draw with Atletico, Madrid miss record

Messi gingerly walked off the Camp Nou pitch in the 58th minute, just moments before Atletico substitutes Angel Correa and Fernando Torres went on and linked up to equalize.

The defending champions said Messi will be sidelined for three weeks with a groin strain.

"With Leo Messi out, football loses, we all lose," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. "We now have to look for different solutions. Of course we are stronger with Messi, but we are still strong enough."

Ronaldo named UEFA Best Player in Europe for second time

Ronaldo was favourite for the award having led Real Madrid to their 11th Champions League win in 2015-16, scoring the winning penalty in a dramatic shootout against rivals Atletico Madrid.

The former Manchester United star then went on to win a first major international trophy as Portugal were crowed European champions after seeing off hosts France in the final of Euro 2016.

The 31-year-old previously won the award for the 2013-14 season and he joins Barcelona rival Lionel Messi in winning the honour on a second occasion.

Plenty of players ready to shine in Champions League final

Cristiano Ronaldo will be attracting most of the attention as he tries to win his second European trophy with Madrid, but plenty of his teammates and many of his opponents with Atletico have shown they are capable of breaking through with a great performance in the biggest game of the season.

Here's a look at some of the players who could shine in the final in Milan:

FERNANDO TORRES

Suarez and Barcelona lead AP Global Football 10

The Uruguay striker scored four in Barcelona's rout of Deportivo La Coruna last Wednesday and followed up with four more in a 6-0 thrashing of Sporting Gijon on Saturday.

"Can someone like Luis Suarez just score whenever he wants? Two four-goal games in one week is quite a feat," Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post Dispatch in the United States said.

"To have a season's worth of goals for most players in the span of a few days is more than just amazing."

Bale out of Villarreal contest

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has confirmed Gareth Bale will miss Wednesday's La Liga contest against Villarreal with a muscle injury and the forward is now a doubt for next week's Champions League semi-final first leg versus Manchester City.

Wales international Bale scored his 16th La Liga goal of the season in Saturday's 5-1 battering of Getafe.

However, Zidane confirmed the former Tottenham forward will miss out against Villarreal, while his availability for the trip to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, and Tuesday's trip to the Etihad Stadium is unknown.

Barcelona have 'three Ronaldos', says ex-Madrid star Breitner

Barcelona have the edge on Real Madrid because their fabled 'MSN' forward line represents the equivalent of three Cristiano Ronaldos, according to former Los Blancos star Paul Breitner.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar inspired Barca to a Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey treble last season with an astonishing collective haul of 122 goals.

The breathtakingly brilliant trio have already scored 107 times between them in 2015-16, to keep Barca on course to sweep the board once again.

Barca draws 2-2 at Villarreal, extends Liga lead to 9 points

While Barcelona pulled further away, third-place Real Madrid closed on Atletico after Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all scored in a 4-0 victory over Sevilla.

Barcelona will hold a 10-point advantage over Madrid when the two clash at Camp Nou after the international break.

Barcelona appeared to be in command after Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring in the 20th minute and Neymar added a penalty four minutes before halftime.