Luis Figo expects Real Madrid to recover from a shaky start to the season with a settled Cristiano Ronaldo, following his suspension.
Ronaldo earned a five-match domestic ban when he received a second yellow card and then pushed the referee during the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona on 13 August.
In his absence, La Liga title-holders Madrid dropped points in successive draws with Valencia and Levante.
They then stunningly lost 1-0 at home to Real Betis, despite the Portugal captain completing his sentence and starting that match at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Subsequent victories over Deportivo Alaves and Espanyol steadied the ship, but Madrid find themselves seven points behind early frontrunners Barca in the table.
Former Blancos star Figo acknowledged the significance of a comfortable Ronaldo being available again for head coach Zinedine Zidane.
‘Yeah, of course, he’s a very important player for the team,’ the 2000 Ballon d’Or winner told Omnisport.
‘He was out five games and the team missed his goals and his contribution. Now everything is settled and I think the team is going for the goals they had in the beginning of the season.
‘They started well, they won two competitions [the Supercopa and Uefa Super Cup] and now in the league they’re trying to come back from some draws and [recover] some points to Barcelona.
‘The season is long, to win the league you have to be really [consistent]. Of course, all the teams have their ups and downs, and I’m looking forward to seeing Madrid in the top [places].’
Following the international break, Madrid return to La Liga action away to Getafe on Saturday.
-This story originally appeared on FourFourTwo.co.za