Ronaldo to 'fight on' as title goes to wire
Saturday 15 May 2010
Cristiano Ronaldo got used to winning trophies at Manchester United but tomorrow, after three consecutive League titles under Sir 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 international, 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 Barça 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. Barcelona know exactly what they are doing. We are a new team and we have had a lot of changes this season but at Madrid you are not allowed to go a season without 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 in the previous summer.
Reflecting on his first campaign in Spain, Ronaldo, who will be reunited with Malaga full-back Patrick Mtiliga, whose nose he fractured with a swinging forearm in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, admitted that the European Cup exit to Lyons was a real low. He said: "Elimination from the Champions League was the worst moment. You always have slip-ups when you have so many new players and a new coach and we have to keep fighting. I'm sure we will win that competition again one day."
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 maintain the one-point advantage they have over Roma, who travel to Chievo.
Both games start at 2pm and Mourinho has midfielder Wesley Sneijder back in contention, although he may yet leave him on the bench with one eye on next weekend's Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
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."
Latest in Sport
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers plans more Anfield signings this summer
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho confirms Fernando Torres is staying at Stamford Bridge
Sami Khedira latest: Real Madrid desperate to sell midfielder to Arsenal rather than lose him for free to Bayern Munich next summer
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us