Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid galacticos have to live up to billing and win La Liga
16 July 2009 01:53
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The winger, currently only a couple of hundred miles across the Irish Sea at Real's pre-season training camp near Dublin, also admitted that after having unprecedented sums of money spent on them this summer, the new players at Madrid need to live up to their billing in the coming season and help the club to win the domestic league.
The winger, who became the most expensive player in football history when Real bought him for £80 million, stressed that it was a difficult decision to leave Manchester, but maintained that after spending a week with his new club, which has included training three times a day, he believes that he has made the correct move, explaining that having achieved all he could in England, it is time for a new challenge.
‘It was not an easy situation,' he said. 'I arrived at Manchester when I was 18 years-old, and I have been there for six years. It is a long time, and I won many things there, both collectively and individually. I met very good people there, good friends, so it is not easy, but life is a challenge, and I think it is a good move. I am very proud to be here, it is a top group. I hope to be as happy here as I was in Manchester.'
Those six years seems to have instilled a greater degree of loyalty than the effect that two seasons at Old Trafford had on Carlos Tevez. Asked whether he had considered crossing the Manchester divide to join City, like Tevez, Ronaldo's reply was simple: 'Never.' Likewise his response when asked whether he believes Mark Hughes' side will qualify for the Champions League next season: 'I hope not.'
But that does not mean that Ronaldo will be overly bothered about events in the Premier League next season. 'City are trying to build a nice team, they have bought a few good players, but that is not my problem,' he said. 'It is a problem for Manchester United, for Chelsea, for Arsenal. I have to concentrate on my team. I don't care what Manchester City are going to do.'
Indeed, his focus is now in Spain, and winning La Liga. He explained: 'Madrid have bought some expensive players. We have to do good things, we have to win the league, and show the people we are here for something. Madrid before is a good team with great players, but the new players have come to win the league. I think we have a chance to win the league.'
So many marquee names under one roof will, according to Ronaldo, mean levels of competition on the training ground that will improve Madrid's performance as a group. But he is under no illusions that Manuel Pellegrini, the Real coach, has a tough task on his hands dealing with the many personalities, and balancing big egos.
'It is a hard job for the coach,' he said. 'When you have great players together and you have to put only eleven on the pitch it is not easy, But everyone respects each other, and competition for the players is always important.'