Monday 14 October 2019

Ronaldo insists he’ll stay on at Real despite third Champions League failure

Real Madrid's Ronaldo gestures during their Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund. Photo: Reuters
Real Madrid's Ronaldo gestures during their Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund. Photo: Reuters

CRISTIANO Ronaldo has played down talk of quitting Real Madrid after the Spanish side fell short in the Champions League last night for the third time in a row.

The Portuguese star wants to put last night's Champions League semi-final exit to Borussia Dortmund to one side and win the Copa del Rey.

A 2-0 win at the Bernabeu was not enough to mend the damage of the first leg in Germany as Real Madrid lost 4-3 on aggregate to Dortmund.

Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos both scored in the last eight minutes to set up a pulsating finish, but it was not enough for Jose Mourinho's side, who have fallen at the final hurdle for the third year in a row under his guidance.

It is now thought Mourinho will not lead them into next season's campaign after he strongly hinted he wants to return to England, with Chelsea mentioned as potential suitors.

There is silverware on offer before then, though, and Ronaldo believes if they show the same desire against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final on May 17 the result will be different.

"We scored late. There were five minutes of added time but we couldn't turn it around," he told realmadrid.com.

"I think the first match was key because four goals are a lot in the Champions League, but the team were focused on trying to reach the final.

"We scored two goals but we could have had four or five, (Gonzalo) Higuain, (Mesut) Ozil and I had chances in the first half.

"We showed that we are better than them. We're a bit sad because we thought we could have been in the final.

"The Copa del Rey is a different competition. It will be a different match and if we go out with the same desire I am sure that we will win".

Ronaldo also played down talk of him leaving the Primera Division club, after manager Mourinho hinted he could return to England.

The Real striker said: "I have two years of contract and I'm not worried about my renewal."

However, after three years of just falling short, Ronaldo is keen to pay back fans and make it to the Champions League final for them next season.

"The team fought hard and the fans were amazing," he added.

"They were very supportive. It spurred me on and we tried everything.

"We are grateful for what they did. We're sorry that we could not give the fans the joy that they deserved.

"We fought to the end and I'm sure that next year we'll be there."

PA Media

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