Ronaldo keen to justify price tag
MADRID (dpa) – Cristiano Ronaldo will face his former team Manchester United on Wednesday for the first time since his move to Real Madrid, in a high-profile Champions League round-of-16 clash.
Ronaldo is relishing the challenge to play United four years after leaving Old Trafford.
“The Champions League is a very special competition for me,” he said on Sunday. “I want to help Real win it for the 10th time.”
He helped United to the continental crown in 2008, with a goal in the Moscow final against Chelsea, and is now keen to do the same for Real.
Real paid United 96 million euros (US$128.4m) for Ronaldo in 2009, the staggering fee paid by Real president Florentino Perez breaking the world transfer record by almost 30 million euros and provoking all manner of comments and judgements.
Many people in Spain, including the Archbishop of Barcelona, criticised the transfer as a frivolous expenditure in a time of crisis.
Other people doubted whether the Portuguese forward would ever be able to justify his pricetag, especially after he arrived in Madrid with a troublesome right ankle.
136 goals later, few people are questioning the transfer fee. On Monday sports daily AS used a traditional Spanish saying to justify the signing of Ronaldo: “Something expensive often turns out to be actually cheap” – because of its high quality.
Ronaldo guided Real to the league title last season, with a record 100 points, and the Spanish cup in 2011.
Now he is determined to help the whites win the Champions League for the 10th time, after 11 years of frustration in Madrid.
And the Real fans understand that without his goals, the return of the Champions trophy to the Spanish capital is well-nigh impossible.
The Portuguese striker warmed up for the visit of his former team-mates with a handsome hat-trick on Saturday in the 4-1 trouncing of Sevilla.