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Real boosted by Ronaldo renewal for Euro bow

16 Sep 2013 00:31:52

Real boosted by Ronaldo renewal for Euro bow

Cristiano Ronaldo believes putting pen to paper on a new Real Madrid deal, which ties him to the club until 2018, can help propel them to the Champions League title.

Ronaldo signed a new contract on Sunday, the perfect boost ahead of their Champions League opener with Galatasaray on Tuesday.

With the Portuguese's previous deal set to expire in 2015 there had been strong suggestions that he could make a sensational return to Manchester United, who he left to join Madrid in 2009 for a then world record 94 million euros ($131 million, £80 million).

Madrid president Florentino Perez has splashed the club's cash once more in the transfer market over the past few months by spending over 160 million euros in bringing Gareth Bale, Isco and Asier Illarramendi to the Bernabeu.

And despite the departures of Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil, Ronaldo is convinced Madrid can finally end their 12-year wait to win their 10th European Cup.

"It is not new what has happened this summer, players come and go," he said.

"Real Madrid, throughout its history, has always tried to bring the best players to the club and they have usually been successful.

"Regarding the 10th European Cup, we could have won more titles but at times it is not possible. I have no doubt that sooner or later Madrid will win it and I am convinced we can do it this year."

Bale will make his European bow for Los Blancos after scoring on his league debut for the club in the 2-2 draw with Villarreal on Saturday.

The Welshman shot to prominence with two stunning performances against then European champions Inter Milan in the 2010/11 season. However, that remains the only season Bale has played in the Champions League and he has so far made only 11 appearances in Europe's premier club competition.

Iker Casillas will also return in goal for Madrid after coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that the Spanish captain will start in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey whilst Diego Lopez remains his number one in the league.

Lopez made a number of incredible saves to guarantee Madrid a point against his old side Villarreal at the weekend, but he insists he doesn't feel slighted by Ancelotti's decision to recall Casillas.

"We have to respect the coach's decision, he is the one who decides. I support my teammates who will play and in this case it will be Iker," he said.

"This happens in many positions in this side because there is a lot of competition and the squad has a lot of quality."

Madrid are well aware of the dangers that await them at the Turk Telekom Arena having been beaten by the Turkish champions in Istanbul at the quarter-final stage in last year's competition.

A 3-2 win on the night wasn't enough for Galatasaray as Madrid progressed 5-3 on aggregate and Fatih Terim's men know they will have to make home advantage count if they are to spring a surprise and qualify ahead of either Madrid or Juventus in Group B.

Former Madrid playmaker Wesley Sneijder and ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba were both on target in the meeting between the two sides last season and will once again be the major threats to the Madrid goal.


AFP

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