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MADRID: Real Madrid’s anxiety to win a 10th European Cup puts them under greater pressure to succeed than Manchester United when they meet in the last 16 of the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo said yesterday.
The Spanish champions host the first leg on February 13 with the return at Old Trafford on March 5 and, with the defence of their league title faltering, success in Europe is taking on even greater significance.
“I think there’s more pressure at Madrid than at United,” the Portugal forward, who was named World Player of the Year as a United player in 2008, told www.fifa.com.
“I’ve been here for 3-1/2 years now and I think that’s the case because everyone involved is totally focused on winning the club’s 10th European Cup.
“That creates a certain amount of anxiety, which can be felt at all times.
“We haven’t started the championship very well for sure. We know that La Liga’s an uphill struggle for us now, but nothing’s impossible in football. There’s the Champions League and the King’s Cup too. There’s plenty for us to win this season,” the Portuguese said.
A 0-0 draw at lowly Osasuna on Saturday left Jose Mourinho’s side 18 points adrift of unbeaten La Liga leaders Barcelona in third place.
Their biggest deficit on their arch-rivals in a 20-team league was in the 1987/88 season when Real trailed Barca by 21 points at the midway point of that campaign. REUTERS