There’s not too much time left before Real Madrid land at the Old Trafford following their victorious Clasico week, with Cristiano Ronaldo feeling more confident than ever. Alex Ferguson is feeling quite confident about his team’s chances as well, but doesn’t think Ronaldo will make a return to Manchester United any time soon.
So, is it good or bad that Real Madrid just beat Barcelona twice in four days? According to Ferguson, that’s great. Thinking of a season as a series of peaks and drops, highs & lows, he feels Real Madrid wasted their emotional ammunition too soon on the Clasico matches, which will undoubtedly leave their players a tad flat for the second leg in the Champions League.
If your remember, there’s a reason Real Madrid have been drifting so far from Barcelona in the league -consistency, and being unable, mostly on the road, to recreate fantastic performances in big matches. Winning three huge games in a row (and Real Madrid need to win, or a draw with at least two goals they’ve scored) seems like a might difficult feat, even for a loaded team like Real.
They had 11 who were absolutely superb. But I don’t think they’ll reach that height on Tuesday. I think it was a one-off performance. They’ll still play well and we’ll have to make sure we play well. But the other night they really hit the heights, it was a top performance. We’ll be okay because it will be a different game. That was the issue on Tuesday, their counter-attacking was terrific. We’re aware of that and our preparation has to include that but I think we’ll score, I really do.
While Real Madrid didn’t have a brilliant match in the second Clasico, the league one at home, they were still much better than Barcelona, and completely took over the pitch when Cristiano Ronaldo came on in the 57th minute, leading to their winning goal by Sergio Ramos.
All the love that was there before the first match between Real & United is gone now. Too much focus from both sides on the need to make it into the quarterfinals. Too much at stake. And another thing – when Real Madrid are winning, the rumors around Ronaldo, his contract and his next destination seem to disappear.
There hasn’t been anything to encourage me to think Cristiano would come back here. As far as I am aware, there is nothing in it at all. Ronaldo has got two years left on his contract and it seems to me it is all part of the negotiations that are going on about a new deal. Maybe his agent is playing the game. I think it is false hope.
That’s perfect in the way he called it. I don’t think most people believed Ronaldo was really unhappy. Just ego-bruised, and needing a pat on the shoulder in the form of a bigger contract, which still hasn’t been signed. Maybe waiting for another zero or two on the paper. But that doesn’t mean that Ferguson isn’t weary of his abilities.
He is a better player now than he was when he was with us because he has matured. He is 28 and at the peak of his career. From 28 to 32, with the fitness Ronaldo has got – he never misses a game and is never injured – he will be at his absolute best.