Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Real Madrid can win it all: Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has boldly predicted that Real Madrid will win the Champions League and their domestic title following their lavish summer spending spree.

At a world record £80million, former Manchester United star Ronaldo heads an impressive collection of new ‘Galacticos' to arrive at the Bernabeu ahead of the new season.

The signings of Kaka and Karim Benzema, from AC Milan and Lyon respectively, have taken Real's outlay past £180million and Ronaldo, dismissing suggestions tension could arise within the squad, believes they will combine well.

The Portuguese, speaking in Dublin ahead of his side's pre-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers next Monday, said: “It is a hard job for the coach when you have great players together and you have to put only 11 on a pitch, it's not easy.

“But everybody respects each other and the competition for a place is always important. It means you train better and hard.

“You can read whatever in the papers, but when I am with Real Madrid the atmosphere is fantastic and I'd like to thank my colleagues for that.

“This is good. I feel very proud to be with this group. I think the group is a top group. I think Real Madrid can win many titles, I think we should. It's a team that's used to it, this year cannot be any different.

“We have a great coach, great players, so we have the many possibilities of winning.

“I believe we are going to win the league. It is not just me, I do not play alone. I play with 20 players, 25, the group, but I still think we can win, and win the Champions League as well.”

The Spanish giants' extraordinary recruitment drive, fuelled by the return of Florentino Perez as president, may also not be over. The club have been heavily linked with Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich and Liverpool's Xabi Alonso, among others.

Ronaldo added: “As regards future signings, obviously it's not up to me to comment on that. I respect the decisions of the directors of Real Madrid.

“Xabi is a great player, but obviously as you can see I'm not going to give my opinion on that.”

United finally allowed Ronaldo to leave this year after holding out during two previous summers in which Real made their interest abundantly clear.

The 24-year-old claims it was difficult to move after a hugely successful six years at Old Trafford, which included winning the Champions League last year.

He said: “I won many things there, collective and individual trophies and awards and I met very good people there, good friends and it's not easy you know. Life is a challenge and I'm a challenging man and I think it's a good move.”

He may have turned his back on Old Trafford for Real Madrid, but Ronaldo has promised United followers that he was never tempted to relocate to the blue half of the city.

“Never,” he insisted. “City are trying to build a nice team, they buy a few good players, but this is not my problem. It's a problem for Manchester United, for Chelsea, for Arsenal. Madrid is now my team. I'm worried about Barcelona, Valencia, these teams. I don't care about Manchester City. Will they make the Champions League? Maybe, I don't know. I hope not.”

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