Saturday 20 January 2018

Ronaldo hits out at Jose's Real tactics

Cristiano Ronaldo Photo: Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo Photo: Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo believes he could match the dazzling form of Lionel Messi if he were not hamstrung by Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho's negative tactics, writes Rory Smith.

The world's most expensive player scored his 42nd goal in all competitions this season during Real's 1-0 extra-time victory against their fierce rivals to win the Copa Del Rey last week.

Despite that incredible tally, the forward who signed from Manchester United for €94m in 2009 has been eclipsed by the Argentinian international in his two years in Spain.

Messi's double strike against Madrid on Wednesday night meant that the reigning World Player of the Year has now scored a remarkable 52 goals in all competitions this season for Barcelona, who stand on the cusp of winning a third straight Spanish title and their second Champions League final in three years.

That Messi now stands alone as the undisputed best player in the world, Ronaldo feels, can be attributed to the fact that he enjoys the support of a side built to attack.

The Portuguese international, on the other hand, hardly sounds thrilled by Mourinho's system: "I don't like it, but I have to adapt because that is the way it is.

"It is much easier against 10 players. I wish I could get the chance to play against 10 like he did."

Madrid had 71pc of possession while Real sat back rather than press higher up the pitch as they had in the Cup final and Ronaldo could be seen angrily gesticulating at his team-mates as he urged them forward on Wednesday.

But Ronaldo's only consolation is that Real will be forced to attack in next Tuesday's return if they want to have any chance of making the final at Wembley Stadium against either Manchester United or Schalke.

"At 2-0 down and away from home -- anything can happen in football, but we know it will be very difficult." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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