May 18, 2014

Ronaldo : "I've always dreamed of winning the Champions League with Real Madrid"

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“We're very close to achieving something special in the history of the club”, stated the striker.
Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of his desire to win the Champions League with the Whites in an official UEFA interview. “I'm very happy to form part of Real Madrid's history. I'm going to try and win as much as possible with this team and I've always dreamed of winning the Champions League with Real Madrid”, explained the Portuguese before the final against Atlético.
  1. It will be your first Champions League final with Real Madrid and you'll be playing Atlético in Lisbon. How are you feeling about it?
    It is going to be a very special match, and in my own country too. I'm very happy and excited. We know it's going to be a very tricky match because Atlético are having a great year, they're a very good team with a great coach. But we're going to try and win and play our best. The team is doing well and feeling confident.
  2. Do you remember when you were a boy and you used to watch other teams lift the trophy?
    As a kid I remember watching the big finals and seeing the players lift the Champions League trophy. It's a moment that all Madrid fans dream of, the Décima. We're all really excited, so we have to win.
  3. How have you changed since winning the Champions League with Manchester United?
    I've changed for the better, or course. I won the Champions league with Manchester United and now this is my fifth season with Real Madrid. I've always dreamed of winning this competition with this club.
  4. It has been twelve years since Real Madrid last won the Champions League, what would winning the Décima mean for the club and for you?
    It is a trophy we have spent years trying to win. As a result, from the very first day we arrive at the club we feel a positive kind of pressure geared towards winning the Champions League. This year it feels like we are just one small step away from doing it. Pressure is a part of football and of playing for Real Madrid. We are used to having to win all the time, but it is fine. I like the pressure because it makes me a better player. It is a special kind of adrenalin we feel.
  5. In order to make that final step you will have to beat Atlético Madrid, a team you know well. How can you win against Atlético?
    We have to play the same way we have in previous games. We’ve been successful doing that and have beaten huge teams. This will be a difficult challenge. Atlético Madrid is a very compact side and is very strong mentally. It is always difficult to predict who the winner will be in a final. It is a very different kind of match and I think it will be decided on the smallest of details.
  6. How would you evaluate this season in the Champions League?
    I think in terms of teamwork Real Madrid has shown itself to be an excellent side and one that deserves to win the trophy. On a personal level, it has gone well for me. I am the top goalscorer in the competition and I’m very happy about that. That wasn’t my aim at the start of the Champions League season, but things have gone well for me. My teammates have helped me a lot, and I’ll be trying to score again in the final.
  7. This year you surpassed Di Stéfano’s scoring record in the European Cup, does that also have special meaning?
    I think I am now part of the club’s history, not only for my goals. Obviously beating Di Stéfano’s record is a huge honour. I admire him a lot as a person. I never had the chance to see him play, but I have seen a few videos. Thanks to God, things have gone well for me and I am happy to be part of Real Madrid’s history. I am going to try and win as much as possible with this team, because this is my favourite club.

March 07, 2014

Valdano: Raul can be Real's Guardiola

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Former Real Madrid coach coach Jorge Valdano has told AS that Raul Gonzalez could soon return to Los Blancos as coach and make a similar impact to Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.

After two years at Bundesliga side Schalke, the 36-year-old is currently at Qatari club Al-Sadd, but is set to retire at the end of the current campaign.

Former Barca defender Guardiola followed a similar path, gaining experience both elsewhere in Europe and in Qatar, before returning to the Camp Nou as a coach and going on to oversee the most successful era in the Catalan club’s history.

Valdano -- the coach who gave Raul his Madrid debut as a 17-year-old -- thinks that the striker would likely bring a more ‘German’ organisation to the teams he goes on to coach.

"It would not be a team comparable to Guardiola's," Valdano said at an event in Madrid organised by football magazine Panenka. "Raul admires more German teams than Brazilian teams. I believe he is really intelligent, he has the personality to stop a train, with Madridismo coming out of all his pores.

"He is destined to be the Guardiola of Real Madrid, but with an identity which is more of Real Madrid than Barcelona. I believe he is preparing for this, and he will do it with the same intelligence with which he managed his career as a player.

"He is very relaxed about it, but I am very impatient about seeing his Madrid. He will bring a sentimental depth to the club."

Raul left Madrid under something of a cloud in 2010, reportedly at the wishes of club president Florentino Perez and the incoming coach Jose Mourinho.

Ahead of last August's exhibition game between Los Blancos and Al-Sadd at the Bernabeu, Raul suggested that it would make sense to gain more coaching experience elsewhere before he eventually ended up back at the Bernabeu.

"To come [back] to Madrid is always in my head; when I believe that I can bring something to the club I would be delighted to return," Raul said.

"But for that, a transition is necessary, and an apprenticeship to know if I am capable of doing something which can help."

October 22, 2013

Ronaldo reveals Juventus rejection

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Cristiano Ronaldo says he rejected Juventus a decade ago because of Manchester United's more appealing history and Sir Alex Ferguson's presence.

Ronaldo made his name at Old Trafford after moving away from Sporting in 2003, before making a world-record move - broken by Gareth Bale this summer - to Real Madrid in 2009.

Former Bianconeri chief Luciano Moggi explained this week that Ronaldo was in Juve's sights before the Red Devils made their move, but Ronaldo insists he had never had any intention of moving to Turin over the Premier League giants.

 "I cannot speak too much about this Juve link," he said when questioned by Italian media on Tuesday ahead of Madrid's clash with Antonio Conte's men.

 "I know that there were many clubs interested in me and Juve were one of those, but the club that interested me most was the Manchester for its history and its coach."
 "I have great respect for Juve and their history. They are a dream team for many, but tomorrow I'll have to do my job and score goals against them. They're a top club that must be respected but tomorrow I'll do my best."