Sport Soccer

Monday 22 January 2018

Ronaldo left hoping for a miracle in La Liga endgame

Pete Jenson

cristiano ronaldo got used to winning trophies at Manchester United but tomorrow, after three consecutive League titles under Alex Ferguson, he will be left empty-handed if Barcelona win their last game of the season.

"I have enjoyed my first year but maybe it will not be enough to win a trophy," said the Portugal inter-national, ahead of what will be a dramatic final weekend in Spain with nine of the last 10 games involved in deciding the title, European places and relegation.

Scoring 26 league goals in his first season and helping Madrid to a club record 98 points will not be enough for Ronaldo if Barcelona beat Valladolid at home on the last Sunday of the season. Real Madrid need to beat Malaga away and hope that Barcelona slip up.

Real's keeper Iker Casillas said the squad still believed the season could throw up one more twist. "Everything could still change in the last weekend of the season. We are a new team but at Madrid you aren't allowed to go a season with-out winning something," he said.


Someone always pays for such a failure and coach Manuel Pellegrini will lose his job if there is no final-hour miracle. The last Real coach to end a complete season in charge without securing a trophy and then keep his job was Alfredo di Stefano in 1982. But he was not embarrassed in both domestic and European competition and he had not spent £250m on transfers.

Reflecting on his first campaign in Spain, Ronaldo admitted that the European Cup exit to Lyon was a real low. He said: "Elimination from the Champions League was the worst moment. But you always have slip-ups when you have so many new players and a new coach and we have to keep fighting."

Internazionale coach Jose Mourinho could be two-thirds of the way through an unprecedented treble by the time Real Madrid and Barcelona kick off tomorrow night. Italian Cup winners Inter play Siena away on the final day of the Serie A season looking to hold the one-point advantage they have over Roma, who travel to Chievo.

Meanwhile, Leonardo agreed to leave Inter's neighbours Milan by mutual consent yesterday after just one year in the managerial hot seat. "I didn't know what it was to be a coach," Leonardo said. "It was a great experience, but I don't know if I will do it again in the future, definitely not in the next few years."

Irish Independent

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