Cristiano Ronaldo with Irina Shyak and his Son Jr. in Madeira, Funchal (Dec 31, 2012)

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) with his Son & his Girlfriend Irina Shayk arrive at Madeira airport in Funchal on December 31, 2012.   Fortsätt läsa Cristiano Ronaldo with Irina Shyak and his Son Jr. in Madeira, Funchal (Dec 31, 2012)

”There’s nothing to stop Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Ballon d’Or”

Luis Figo believes that Cristiano Ronaldo is in with a chance of winning the Ballon d’Or. ”There’s nothing to stop him winning it. He’s always one of the favourites for any individual trophy”, said the former Portugal player regarding his fellow countryman’s chances in an interview with the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF).

”He’s had a great campaign in ‘La Liga’ and the Champions League. He’s always come through. But we all know that individual trophies come down to the personal opinions of lots of people and it’s always difficult to know who is going to win”.

Figo, who won the award in 2000, recalled the moment when he received the prize: ”It was one of the most special moments in my career on the individual side of things, because there are few players who have the opportunity to win this trophy. At the time, there were lots of players who were in with a shout, whilst now there are four or five big candidates. It was a privilege and a proud moment.”

Another Portuguese player, Ronaldo’s teammate Pepe, expressed his preference for CR7 and assured that he deserves the Ballon d’Or, although he was less optimistic than Figo. ”I would love Cristiano to win the Ballon d’Or, because he’s my friend, because of what he has done for football, because he has been in the top three five times in the last six years and This time He won La Liga and some other Trophies for Real Madrid.

CRISTIANO RONALDO REJECTS A NEW REAL MADRID CONTRACT

Cristiano Ronaldo has rejected a new contract offer from Real Madrid according to Arabic sports media giants Al-Jazeera Sports.

Al Jazeera said that they have learned the news from sources inside Real Madrid and that the Portuguese doesn’t want to renew his contract with the Los Merengues.

Cristian Ronaldo has three years left on his Real Madrid contact where he earns a stunning 12 million euros.

Real Madrid are expected to increase Ronaldo’s salary, in order to convince him to stay with the club even after the end of his current contract, and that’s something the Spanish news already said, but the former Manchester United player refuses that.

Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009 for a staggering €93.9 million and became one of the best all-time goalscorers for the Spanish clubs in the La Liga with 112 goals in 101 appearances.

Pictures: Malaga vs Real Madrid – La Liga (Dec 22, 2012)

Real Madrid fall to Málaga after José Mourinho omits Iker Casillas

José Mourinho surprisingly benched Iker Casillas for the game at Málaga, and the move may cost him more than just three points as little-used Adán Garrido was overwhelmed in a 3-2 defeat.

Casillas has been a regular starter for a decade and is the captain of both Real and Spain’s world champion national team, and is revered by the club’s fans.

Saturday’s game was the first time he had not started a meaningful league fixture for the Spanish league champions in 54 matches. Relations between Mourinho and his players were already frayed with the team on the slide, and they are likely to be further strained now. ”It surprised us, Iker is our captain,” the Real defender Sergio Ramos said.

Mourinho justified the move to omit Casillas by saying that the inexperienced Adán was in better form. ”We hadn’t been playing well in different aspects of the game, among which was our defence,” Mourinho said. ”It was a technical decision. My opinion is the one that matters. I analysed the players I had available and picked the team to play. You can invent the story you want but it is a purely technical decision and nothing more.”

The defeat was Real’s fourth in nine away matches and left the defending champions in third place 16 points behind leaders Barcelona.

Adán had only four previous career starts in the league and had made three starts this season: one in a Champions League game after Real’s place in the knockout rounds was already assured and two in Copa del Rey ties against lower-division opponents.

The 25-year-old Real youth product was not tested in the first half as they controlled the ball and the scoring chances. But after half-time he let three shots find his net while making only three saves.

Mourinho defended Adán by saying that he thought the choice of goalkeeper ”had no influence in the result”. However, Real had not conceded three goals in a league game since a 3-1 defeat by Barça last December, and it was the first time they had conceded three goals to a Spanish league team other than Barça since April, 2011.

The 31-year-old Casillas is respected in Spain and abroad as one of the best keepers in the game. He has been voted the top goalkeeper in the world by players in the FIFPro vote for four straight years and is expected to win again next month.

The last time Casillas did not start a league match was on 5 May last season after Real had clinched the title.

Casillas’s mood in the dugout at La Rosaleda stadium went from glum to nervous and finally anguished as he watched his team fail to convert a plethora of chances in the first half, and then get picked apart in the second. At one point he zipped up his sweatshirt to hide half his face.

The Málaga forward Isco shot past Adán to open the scoring before Joaquin Sánchez set up Roque Santa Cruz to score twice more.

Málaga’s goals were well taken, but if doubts were already brewing about Mourinho’s ability to continue at the helm of Real, then his critics received a big boost.

Mourinho scoffed at the question of whether he feared for his job heading into the winter break with little hope of retaining the title.

”Fear for my job?” he said. ”I have never feared for my job.” But in the next breath he acknowledged that ”football has no memory. The only thing that matter is the present, not the titles you have won”. Fortsätt läsa Pictures: Malaga vs Real Madrid – La Liga (Dec 22, 2012)

Madrid-United The Gem of Champions League Round of 16

A dramatic Champions League Round of 16 draw was made Thursday morning in Nyon, Switzerland, giving football lovers exciting matchups to look forward to in February and March but after Round of 16 Draw… Everyone’s Eyes are on Madrid-United Match.

Real Madrid vs. Manchester United

Dramatic Draw… featuring, Cristiano Ronaldo returning to his former club for the first time; also Jose Mourinho up against United, the team against whom he made his name with Porto’s Champions League win at this stage of the competition in 2004 (and with whom he has been linked as a possible successor to Sir Alex Ferguson); and the memory of what happened in 2003, when Madrid won a quarterfinal 6-5 on aggregate in a game that, arguably, changed the face of English football forever. Watching the second leg at Old Trafford, a 4-3 United win in which the Brazilian Ronaldo scored a hat trick, was Roman Abramovich, who was reportedly so seduced by the attacking football that he bought Chelsea. (He can’t have liked it that much: the first coach he hired who really played an attacking game was Roberto di Matteo this season, and he only lasted three months.)

The difference is that each team has a different priority this season: for United, it has to be wresting the league out of the grasp of its ”noisy neighbors” Manchester City. With City out of all European competition, after finishing at the bottom of Madrid’s group, that won’t be easy. Madrid, on the other hand, have as much as written off La Liga: it is currently 13 back on Barcelona, and president Florentino Perez reportedly told Mourinho that winning a Copa del Rey and Champions League double was his target for the season.

”We have set a clear goal: to win the Champions League,” midfielder Sami Khedira told Bild this week. ”We aren’t doing Real Madrid justice this year. We cannot be happy with the season we are having. We haven’t been able to get into the right rhythm since the very beginning.”

The chance will come in February, and it will be fascinating to see Ronaldo up against his former teammates. They might be surprised by how much better he has become.

 

Real Madrid Aim To Extend Cristiano Ronaldo Contract

Real Madrid want to extend Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract at the club, according to Spanish daily AS.

The future of the Portuguese has been in some doubt in recent months, with Ronaldo on occasion not cutting the happiest of figures, while there has also been talk of a bid by Paris Saint-Germain to take the forward, along with Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, to the Parc des Princes.

But Real Madrid do not want to lose Ronaldo and will not sell him to PSG, leaving the only way for the French club to sign the former Manchester United man to activate his release clause of €1 billion.

Real Madrid had been planning to offload Kaka over the summer and use the wages paid to the Brazilian to increase Ronaldo’s salary.

However, Kaka stayed put, although he is likely to leave either next month or in the summer.

Real Madrid want to add an extra three years to Ronaldo’s contract, taking it up until 2018, while at the same time handing the Portuguese an increased salary.

Ronaldo is believed to want to remain at the Bernabeu, leading Real Madrid to believe they will be able to come to an agreement with the forward.

REAL MADRID vs MANCHESTER UNITED! @ UCL Round of 16

Manchester United drawn against Real Madrid in Champions League last 16.

Manchester United have been drawn against Real Madrid in the stand-out tie of the Champions League last 16. The match will see Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford for the first time since his £80m move from United to Madrid in 2009 and will also pit Sir Alex Ferguson against José Mourinho.

Britain’s two other representatives, Arsenal and Celtic, have also been handed tough draws. Arsenal will face last season’s beaten finalists Bayern Munich while Celtic take on the Italian champions Juventus as they look for a place in the quarter-finals.

United have a slight advantage over Madrid in that as group winners they will get to play the second leg at home. Arsenal and Celtic, who were group runners-up, will both play their second legs away.

The most eye-catching tie not involving British sides is that of Barcelona v Milan, while the German champions Borussia Dortmund face Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia play Paris St-Germain, Porto meet the Spanish side Málaga and Galatasaray come up against Schalke.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for United, but it was another Ronaldo – the Brazilian striker – who took the headlines when the clubs last faced each other in 2003, scoring a hat-trick at Old Trafford as Madrid went through 6-5 on aggregate.

The United defender Rio Ferdinand reacted to the draw on Twitter , saying: ”Oh yes, Madrid!! What a great couple a games that’ll be!! @Cristiano  see u soon bro!!”

Full Draw:

Real Madrid v Manchester United

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Celtic v Juventus

Milan v Barcelona

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund

Valencia v Paris St-Germain

Galatasaray v Schalke

Porto v Málaga

• First legs to be played 12/13/19/20 February 2013

• Second legs to be played 5/6/12/13 March 2013

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo: ”Ballon d’Or is not everything”

The Portuguese says he will not be hurt if he does not win the accolade, but admits it is a prize he would like to call his own.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo said in an interview published on Wednesday that he would love to win this year’s Ballon d’Or but it would not be the end of the world if the prize went elsewhere.

”If I win, perfect. If I don’t, never mind, life goes on. But obviously I’d love to win because i deserve this prize. I’m not going to lie or be hypocritical,” the 27-year-old Real Madrid forward was quoted as saying on the Portuguese football federation website.

”Fair or unfair, the decision will be what it will be… I’ll maybe be very happy or maybe very sad. But that’s life. I can’t live according to an individual prize,” the 2008 Ballon d’Or winner added.

”It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t win,” Ronaldo said, adding that careers were defined more by team prizes than individual ones.

Ronaldo, Messi and the Argentine’s Spain team-mate Andres Iniesta are the three players shortlisted for the award, which will be presented in Zurich early next month.