Cristiano Ronaldo tried to hide from the glare of attention in a pair of shades as he and his Real Madrid colleagues touched down at Malpensa Airport ahead of the their Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.
The Portuguese star has been the subject of much speculation regarding his fitness for the clash with city rivals Atletico. Ronaldo hobbled out of Tuesday’s training session after a collision with goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, prompting alarm among Los Blancos fans.
The 31-year-old was quick to play down any concerns and appeared laid-back upon arrival in Milan.
A laid-back mood appeared to have prevailed over the Real squad as they touched down. Marcelo shared a knowing look with an official as he made his way from the Real bus to the team hotel.
Even manager Zinedine Zidane was snapped sharing a joke with front-man Karim Benzema as the squad disembarked the plane.
The 10-time European champions touched down in Milan on Friday as they prepare to take on Diego Simeone’s side on Saturday night at the San Siro, in a carbon copy of the 2014 final in Lisbon.
Earlier on Gareth Bale looked in high spirits as the squad jetted off to Milan.
Bale, who looks set for a key in role in Saturday’s big clash, smiled for a picture alongside Luka Modric on-board Real’s flight to Milan.
Fellow Bernabeu stars Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Danilo, Lucas Vazquez, Keylor Navas and James Rodriguez all appeared in equally good mood as they posed for pictures on the plane.
Real are bidding for their ‘Undecima’ at the San Siro and a repeat of their 2014 win when Bale scored the crucial goal in extra time.
Los Blancos had trailed for the majority of that night at the Estadio de Luz before Sergio Ramos equalised in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
In extra time Angel Di Maria capitalised on Atletico’s tiredness with a mazy run only to see his shot saved by Thibaut Courtois but Bale headed home the rebound.
The Wales international said that the knowledge of what happened that night could well play a part as they meet Atletico again.
‘I would rather not be 1-0 down with one minute to go, but it definitely plays a part,’ Bale told ESPN.
‘The first thing you think about is your last final and to know you can beat the opponent. We know this will be a completely different game, but we are confident we can win it.’
The 26-year-old says Real have more licence to express themselves under Zinedine Zidane, who was assistant in 2014, and that explains their improved form since the turn of the year.
‘[Zidane] gives us freedom and confidence on the pitch and that has showed in the second half of the season. I think that is why our performances have improved,’ Bale added.
‘We’re hitting our peak and playing very well at the moment. Hopefully we can take the form we’ve been producing into the final and win the trophy.’
The Welsh star grabbed a picture with Hollywood Galactico Richard Gere, who was on-board the same flight as Real’s squad, as they jetted into Milan.
Bale shared the snap with Gere on his social media profiles alongside team-mates Modric, Navas, Mateo Kovacic and Vazquez with the caption ‘En route to Milan’.