Ronaldo: Real are ready to rule Europe once again

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The Independent Football

Cristiano Ronaldo insists the time has come for Real Madrid to dominate European football once again.

Madrid, under new manager Jose Mourinho, have made a strong start to the season and lead La Liga by one point from Barcelona, their perennial rivals.

The capital club last won the Spanish league in 2008 and European football's biggest prize way back in 2002, but Ronaldo feels the current side have what it takes to end the wait for further glory.

"We are a very different Real from last season," he said. "The discipline has greatly improved. No one does things as an individual any more. The emphasis is on the team, and everyone has a clear role.

"Therefore we are playing with more determination, and there is more enjoyment in the game. Our coach Jose Mourinho has made decisive changes. He knows what he has to do with us to win titles. Everything is fitting together so well that we really can win titles at the end of the season. The time is ripe again for Real Madrid."

Ronaldo also backed new team-mate Mesut Özil to emulate his achievement of being named World Player of the Year at some point in his career. The German international, who moved to the Bernabeu from Werder Bremen this summer on the back of an impressive World Cup showing, is included on the 23-man shortlist for this year's Fifa Ballon d'Or award.

"I hope and believe that he will win this title once," added Ronaldo. "Mesut is a fantastic player, he has an extraordinary talent. I am enjoying playing with him at Real."

* Jürgen Klinsmann has agreed a deal to work with Toronto FC as a consultant to the Major League Soccer club.