Tag: Cristiano Ronaldo

Patrick Kluivert: Champions League title better than domestic double

FC Barcelona legend Patrick Kluivert has said that Real Madrid will have had a better season than Barca if they can clinch a third successive Champions League.

The former Dutch international striker said that a Champions League win would eclipse Barca’s domestic double ahead of El Clasico.

He had previously won Europe’s premier club competition with Ajax in 1995 and said that it is the biggest achievement in football.

“The Champions League is the biggest award any club can win but it is very hard,” Kluivert said. “Winning a double is good as well but winning the Champions League is better. I would prefer to play a UCL final and win it because if you lose it and you don’t have a double, it is not good either.”

“Real Madrid are playing well and they always do what they have to do. The Champions League is the most important title, but if Real Madrid don’t win it, it will be much harder next season.”

Ahead of El Clasico, Kluivert also spoke about the two teams and their star players.

“First of all, Messi is the best for me but he can’t do it all alone; let me think about it because I don’t want to say anything I could regret! Barcelona is Barcelona and Madrid is Madrid, one can win UCL and the other has a double, all of them play for victories.”

 

“Messi and Ronaldo are different players, both in the highest level and each one deserves good words from everyone. But Messi was born with an impressive talent; Ronaldo did too, but he had to work harder to reach that level.”

Another record for Ronaldo as Real Madrid strikes late to beat Dortmund

Cristiano Ronaldo set another benchmark as he became the first player to score in every Champions League group stage match as Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 at the Bernabeu.

Real were set on their way by Borja Mayoral’s first goal in the competition, set up by Ronaldo, who quickly added a second himself for his ninth in the Champions League this season.

The defending champions of Europe took the lead after just eight minutes, when Ronaldo waltzed between two Dortmund defenders on the left and poked the ball across the face of goal where Isco helped it into the path of Mayoral, who clipped his finish over Roman Burki.

Ronaldo then put himself on the scoreboard when he curled in a lovely right-foot shot into the far top corner from the left-hand side of the penalty area to extend the lead after 12 minutes.

Both him and Mayoral could have put the match beyond Dortmund but a combination of wayward finishing and good positioning from Burki saw the score remain at 2-0.

Despite lagging behind by two goals, Dortmund took their time to get back into the game and responded through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who had been anonymous before launched himself at Marcel Schmelzer’s cross to pull a goal back with a diving header a minute before the break.

It was not four minutes into the second half, when Aubameyang equalized from Shinji Kagawa’s pass that had found him unmarked on the edge of the penalty area and, after his initial effort was saved by Keylor Navas, Aubameyang chipped the rebound over the Madrid goalkeeper.

However, Zinedine Zidane’s team did get a third goal with nine minutes remaining when Lucas Vazquez found the bottom corner of the net with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

Dortmund would enter the Europa League despite collecting just two points from their six games, thanks to a better goal difference than Apoel Nicosia who finished on the same amount of points. Meanwhile, Real would learn who their next opponents would be when the draw is made on Monday.

Ronaldo sets Champions League record as Real thrash Apoel Nicosia

Real Madrid’s forward from Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during the UEFA Champions League football match Real Madrid CF vs APOEL FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on September 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo set another benchmark in the Champions League as Real Madrid thrashed Apoel Nicosa by 6-0 in the group stages.

32-year old Ronaldo scored twice in the second half to raise his tally to 18 Champions League goals in 2017 — the most scored by any player in the tournament within a calendar year.

A 3-1 defeat by Tottenham had postponed defending champions form making it to the last 16, but their win against Apoel and Spurs’s own win over Dortmund meant that Zinedine Zidane’s men is in the playoff stages with a game to spare.

Although Zidane has led Real to Champions League glory in each of his last two seasons in charge, his side fell 10 points behind Barcelona in La Liga after a goalless Madrid derby last weekend.

Both Ronaldo and his fellow forward Karim Benzema had also been under fire — their goal droughts in La Liga had been singled out as the one of the leading causes of Real’s underperfoming run.

But after Luka Modric opened the scoring with a volley from 25 yards, Benzema, who had scored only twice all season doubled that tally in the game itself with two neat finishes inside the area, while defender Nacho also headed in.

Ronaldo then headed home Marcelo’s cross and then scored from the edge of the area to become the third player in the Champions League era to also become the first player to score in each of the first five games of a season.

The final match day next month — which holds less meaning as the teams to progressed has already been determined — will see the Europa League qualification spot contested by Apoel and Dortmund, who both have two points from their five matches. Apoel will travel to Tottenham while Dortmund face Madrid at the Bernabeu.