The Tottenham attacker believes the Portugese is a better all-round player than the Argentine magician, as the race for the Premier League’s most sought-after man hots up
Tottenham forward Gareth Bale says Cristiano Ronaldo is a more ”complete footballer” than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
The in-form Spurs attacker, who is rumoured to be a transfer target for both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich this summer, has scored 13 Premier League goals so far this season.
Asked the question, ”Messi or Ronaldo?” by Life’s a Pitch, Bale revealed his admiration forLos Blancos‘ star.
”For me, personally, I’d say Ronaldo,” the 23-year-old Welshman responded.
”He’s got the whole package. He’s strong, he’s powerful, he’s pacey, can head the ball, strike the ball. Obviously, you can’t say anything bad about Messi, but for the all-round complete footballer, I’d say Cristiano Ronaldo.”
The comments are likely to be taken as a welcome sign by Real Madrid that the Wales international would relish the chance to link up with Ronaldo.
According to reports, Los Merengues are expected to challenge Bayern for his signature at the end of the season in a move thought to potentially be worth around €50 million.
By then, die Roten will be managed by Messi’s former Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, who is said to also have a great interest in bringing Bale to the Bavarian outfit.
Champions League – Match facts: Real Madrid v Manchester United
Facts and figures ahead of the Champions League last 16, first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at Santiago Bernabeu.
The eight European Cup/Champions League encounters between Real Madrid and Manchester Utd have produced 31 goals (3.9/game).
Manchester Utd have never won away against Real Madrid (two defeats, two draws).
The Red Devils have conceded exactly three goals in three of their four trips to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Their last encounter was 10 years ago, in April 2003. Real Madrid won 6-5 on aggregate in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Manchester Utd have only won two of their 13 away Champions League games in Spain (seven draws, four defeats).
Real Madrid have only failed to score once in their last 31 Champions League games, that was against Barcelona at the Bernabeu in April 2011.
Since that semi-final when they failed to hit the back of the net against Barcelona, Real Madrid have scored 33 goals in nine Champions League games at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid have failed to keep a clean sheet in this season’s competition. They have conceded nine goals in the Champions League this season, the most among the 16 teams qualified for the knockout stages.
Manchester Utd have conceded the opening goal in each of their last five Champions League games.
Real Madrid had the joint-most shots (incl. blocked) in the group stages this season, alongside Juventus (126). They’ve scored the most goals from outside the box (6).
Manchester Utd have seen their woodwork rattled five times, the most in the group stages this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the joint-top scorer in the group stages alongside Galatasaray’s Burak Yilmaz (6 goals).
Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez have scored six of Manchester Utd’s nine goals in the Champions League this season (three each). All three of van Persie’s goals have come away from home.
Alex Ferguson has only won two of his 14 competitive encounters with Jose Mourinho (six draws, six defeats)
Kick Off Timing:
UEFA Champions League Semi Final I
Date: February 13, 2013
Time: 19.45 GMT
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu (Madrid)
Today is Cristiano Ronaldo’s 28th birthday. The forward, who is in his fourth season with Real Madrid, has scored 33 goals in all competitions this season. His high goal-scoring rhythm has enabled him to reach several milestones at the start of 2013, such as becoming Real Madrid’s seventh highest scorer, reaching his 100th goal at the Bernabéu and scoring his 300th goal in club football.
The Portuguese forward was born on 5 February 1985 in Funchal and made his first steps as an elite player with Sporting de Portugal. In the summer of 2009 his connection with Real Madrid began, after a triumphal period with Manchester United. As a Madrid player he has won one la Liga, one Copa del Rey and a Spanish Supercopa. He made his Madrid debut on 29 August 2009, in a 3-2 win against Deportivo in the Santiago Bernabéu. He also scored his first goal for Real Madrid in this match.