Thursday 26 April 2018

Ronaldo in record bid

Two former Manchester United strikers will go into battle in tomorrow night's Madrid derby -- one having scored 10 goals in his last five games and the other not having scored since September 11.

Real's Cristiano Ronaldo is Spain's top scorer with 13 goals in all competitions and is chasing a record set by Ferenc Puskas, who scored 13 goals in seven matches in the 1960-61 season. But his opposite number in the Atletico Madrid side, Diego Forlan, has gone almost two months without hitting the back of the net, leading to suggestions he may be allowed to move on at the end of the season.

Forlan said: "It's only normal that when you are not scoring people start to question you, but I have a contract here and until there is something concrete then these are just rumours."

Forlan, who shared one season with Ronaldo at Old Trafford, hopes playing the local rivals will change his luck -- luck being something Atletico Madrid have not had much of in 11 years of derby-day misery.

Their last win against their city rivals came in 1999, when Claudio Ranieri led them to victory over John Toshack's Real.

Since then they have lost 11 matches against their bitter rivals and drawn six, never taking the spoils. If they win tomorrow, they will not only end that 11-year drought but smash an eight-year unbeaten run for Real manager Jose Mourinho in the process. Mourinho has not lost a home league game since February 23, 2002 when Porto lost to Beira Mar.

Elsewhere, Barcelona midfielder Xavi said he has no intention of quitting international football despite the Achilles injury that has troubled him this season. It has been suggested that he might copy former England international Paul Scholes by withdrawing from the national side to concentrate on his club.

"Anyone who doubts my commitment to the national side should take note -- I plan to play on until the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil," he said.

Barcelona face Getafe tomorrow night and have the chance to go top if Atletico beat Real.

Getafe v Barcelona; Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid, Live, tomorrow, Sky Sports 1, from 7.0.

Irish Independent

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