Ronaldo warns of Barca threat
Published 14/04/2011 | 12:28
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has warned his team-mates they will have to be at their best if they are to overcome the might of Barcelona and reach the Champions League final.
Jose Mourinho's men set up a semi-final clash against their Primera Liga rivals with a 5-0 aggregate win over Tottenham in the last eight.
Madrid built on their 4-0 lead from the opening leg, with Ronaldo scoring the only goal at White Hart Lane last night to set up what is expected to be an enthralling battle with Barca.
But the Portuguese winger is under no illusions about the task ahead as his side aim to reach their first Champions League final in nine years.
"We are happy for qualifying for the next round," Ronaldo told www.realmadrid.com. "Tottenham Hotspur are a great team, but we did a great job in both games.
"We've taken an important step because we're now closer to the final.
"We will face the strongest opponent of all in the semi-finals, and we must be ready. Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world, but so are we.
"We have to believe it is possible for us to beat them. We are having a good run and feel confident.
"The team that makes the least mistakes will reach the final. I hope it's Real Madrid."
Barca and Madrid will have plenty of game time against each other ahead of the semi-finals as they meet this weekend in La Liga before clashing again in the Copa del Rey final next Wednesday.
Madrid have eight points to make up on Barca at the top of the league table, and goalkeeper Iker Casillas insists that must be their immediate priority.
"We must now focus on our league clash against them because it is the nearest of them all," he said.
"It will be completely different to our fixtures in the semi-finals.
"I am Real Madrid's captain, and I would be disrespecting Madridistas if I said Saturday's Clasico didn't matter.
"We want to defeat Barcelona on Saturday to earn more points because the league title is still attainable. It isn't all lost."