Ronaldo is more excited than most of his
AC Milan teammates for Saturday's match with AS Roma.
The Brazil striker suffered one of the worst injuries
of his career at Stadio Olimpico while playing for Inter Milan against Lazio in
"The game has a special feeling for me. I've been joking with my teammates
lately that in Rome I either score or get injured," Ronaldo said. "Now I want to
score and forget everything else because Olimpico is a great stadium and Roma is
a great team."
For the rest of Milan's players - and Roma - the match seems more like a warmup
for next week's Champions League quarterfinals.
Milan hosts Bayern Munich on Tuesday and Roma plays Manchester United at the
Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday. Ronaldo transferred to Milan in January from Real
Madrid and is barred from playing the Champions League this season for Milan.
The standings also don't make for much hype.
Roma is second, 18 points behind Inter Milan, while Milan is fifth after
beginning the season with an eight-point penalty from the Italian match-fixing
Often criticized for being overweight at Real Madrid, Ronaldo showed he is
regaining his physical form with Milan by winning 30-meter sprints in training
"I've worked a lot since I arrived here. Ten days ago I performed some tests
again that I also did when I first arrived and there was a 20 percent
improvement," Ronaldo said. "I've rediscovered the fun in soccer."
Milan captain Paolo Maldini will likely sit out the match to rest up for the
Champions League, although Alessandro Nesta could return from a long injury
layoff in defense.
While Roma captain Francesco Totti may play to keep up his form, Roma will want
him to keep some energy in reserve for the Champions League.
Totti hasn't played since the last Serie A round on March 18. He is taking a
break from the national team, missing Italy's 2-0 win over Scotland on Wednesday.
Inter, which was eliminated from the Champions League, hosts struggling Parma on
Parma has won only four games and is only one spot ahead of last-place Ascoli.
Inter is still undefeated with 24 wins and four draws but only beat Ascoli 2-1
in its last outing.
Forward Vincenzo Iaquinta is expected back from injury when Udinese hosts
third-place Lazio and former Italy striker Christian Vieri is slated to return
from a three-month injury layoff when Atalanta hosts Fiorentina.
Fiorentina forward Luca Toni scored two headers in Italy's win Wednesday and
reserve striker Giampaolo Pazzini scored a hat trick in a 3-3 draw between Italy
and England's under-21 teams at the new Wembley stadium last weekend.
Fourth-place Palermo is at Torino.
Siena visits Reggina on Saturday. Also Sunday, it's: Cagliari vs. Messina,
Chievo Verona vs. Sampdoria, Empoli vs. Ascoli; and Livorno vs. Catania.
Serie B leader Juventus visits Pescara on Saturday.