Ronaldo is the best player I’ve coached, says Ancelotti

”Yes, undoubtedly Ronaldo is number one,” the 55-year-old Italian, told a news conference at the Vasil Levski national stadium in Sofia on Tuesday. ”I don’t want to offend other players I’ve coached, but he’s my number one.”

Ronaldo, last season’s Champions League top scorer with 17 goals, has been scoring for fun in recent weeks, with eight in his last three matches, as Real netted 15 times against Deportivo La Coruna, Elche and Villarreal in La Liga.

When he struck in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Villarreal, the Portugal forward became the first Real player to score 10 goals in the opening six games of the league season, breaking the record set by club greats Alfredo Di Stefano and Amancio Amaro.

”Cristiano is an outstanding professional,” added Ancelotti. ”He’s committed to the team and the club, he doesn’t talk much, but he is a leader.

”He scores more goals under a coach who puts him in the right scheme.”

Real thrashed Swiss champions Basel 5-1 in their Group B opener but Ancelotti has warned his team not to lose focus against Ludogorets, who are making their eagerly awaited group-stage home debut.

”Ludogorets play a very dynamic football. They’re pushing their opponents, so we realise what team we’ll play against,” said Ancelotti.

TENACIOUS BULGARIANS

The Bulgarians were tipped to struggle in their first appearance in the Champions League group phase.

However, the Razgrad-based side have been impressive with their tenacity and ball skills, finally losing 2-1 to Liverpool only after a penalty in added time in a pulsating match at Anfield two weeks ago.

”They have courage, they’re very fast and a high-quality team that take quick decisions when playing on a counter-attack.

”There are no modest clubs in the Champions League. Every team fight to win their match. You saw how Ludogorets performed against Liverpool.”

Ancelotti, one of only six people to win Europe’s elite club competition as a player and as a coach, said Portuguese defender Pepe is available after recovering from injury.

”Pepe can play. He feels good,” said Ancelotti, who will have to do without Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira, who are still recovering from injuries.

The match will be played at the Vasil Levski national stadium because the home team’s 8,000-capacity Ludogorets Arena is not suitable to host such games.

Ronaldo, Messi eye Raul’s Champions League goal record

The Champions League returns on Tuesday and Wednesday with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi competing for yet another prize as the rival stars take aim at the tournament’s all-time scoring record.

While the world’s top two players continue their individual battle, three of England’s four teams seek their first win, and the Spanish and Italian champions clash this week in Europe’s top-tier competition. Here are the things to know about this week’s Champions League group games:

Raul’s record: Ronaldo and Messi are neck-and-neck in a race to become the Champions League’s all-time leading scorer by breaking the record held by Raul Gonzalez. Ronaldo has 68 goals in Europe’s top club competition, one more than Messi.

Raul scored 71. Ronaldo may have a better chance of getting there first as Real Madrid plays at Bulgaria’s Ludogorets in Group B on Wednesday, a day after Messi’s Barcelona has a tougher trip to Paris Saint-Germain in (PSG) Group F. The Portugal forward looks primed to increase his goal haul in Sofia after scoring 10 goals in his last six matches, including one four-goal performance and a hat trick. Their latest two-man contest comes after they have divvied up the Ballon d’Or for the world’s best player for the past six years and have taken turns leading the Champions League in scoring for the past seven seasons.

Carlo Ancelotti blasts Cristiano Ronaldo to Man United rumours as nonsense

The Portugal captain is believed to have become disillusioned with life in Spain after the club allowed Xabi Alonso and Angel di Maria to leave in the summer.

Widespread reports have claimed that Ronaldo would be open to returning to Old Trafford following his departure back in 2009.

However, Ancelotti has insisted that the 29-year-old, who won the Ballon d’Or in January, is ”happy” playing for the European champions.

”These are words without meaning.” FourFourTwo quotes Ancelotti as saying. ”I believe [the] reports are nonsense. Cristiano is happy here, very motivated to be here, and all Madridismo is delighted with him.

”Ronaldo [has] great professionalism, leadership, we must enjoy him and do everything to keep him in this physical and mental condition. Without doubt Ronaldo is the best player in the world. We are lucky he plays for us. We have to enjoy it.”

Reports have claimed that it would cost £200m in fees and wages for United to bring Ronaldo back to the Premier League.

Real Madrid Trained for the last time today before leaving for Villarreal tomorrow.
Fortsätt läsa Carlo Ancelotti blasts Cristiano Ronaldo to Man United rumours as nonsense

Real Madrid 5-1 Elche. Cristiano Ronaldo hits four as Real ease past elche

Cristiano Ronaldo continued his prolific start to the season with four goals, including two penalties, as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Elche 5-1 in La Liga on Tuesday.

The Portuguese made a bad start by conceding a 15th minute penalty for a foul on Pedro Mosquera, with Edu Albacar sweeping the ball home past Keylor Navas making his official debut in the Real goal.

Gareth Bale quickly put Real back on track as he headed in a James Rodriguez cross five minutes later and then the referee pointed to the spot for a foul by Mosquera on Marcelo even though there was marginal contact.
Ronaldo fired in the 28th minute penalty and headed home a Marcelo cross four minutes later to extend Real’s lead.
He was then upended by Mario Pasalic with 10 minutes to go and slotted home his second spot-kick while there was still time for another goal from Ronaldo deep in injury time where he finished clinically in the box.
The World Player of the Year now has 7 goals in four days after the hat-trick he scored on Saturday in the 8-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

Real Madrid vs Elche – Match Pictures: 

Coach Ancelotti Rules out Ronaldo rest

Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed talk of a rest for Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Real Madrid’s game with Elche.

The Italian plans to rotate his squad in the coming weeks, starting with Tuesday’s game, but has for the moment ruled out including Ronaldo as part of that.

Cristiano has no need to rest right now. He’s in top form and also in great physical shape and mental condition. We need him at the top of his game right now,” Ancelotti told in a Press conference.

The former Manchester United star has sometimes played wide on the right in recent matches, although Ancelotti insists he has the freedom to operate where he feels most comfortable.

“It’s only a temporary situation as Cristiano has to have the freedom to do what comes naturally to him on the pitch.

“If we need him to play on the right then that’s good because the change in position means our attacking play becomes more unpredictable.”

The 55-year-old also commented on the tactical changes he implemented in the stunning 8-2 away win at Deportivo la Coruna over the weekend, where Asier Illarramendi was introduced to offer more speed on the counter-attack.

“We have other options but our philosophy is to mix the game up and control it even more. After what happened [in the 4-2 defeat] at Anoeta I decided our defence needed more protection.

“We have a great squad and it isn’t easy because everyone wants to play. However, the lads are very professional, respect the referee’s decisions and are always ready to play 20 minutes or however long we need,” he explained.

Real Madrid prepares for the La Liga games against Elche

Fortsätt läsa Coach Ancelotti Rules out Ronaldo rest

Real Madrid 5-1 Basel. Bale, Ronaldo star as Real thrash Basel in Champions League opener

Real Madrid put their La Liga woes behind them to get their defence of the Champions League off to a flying start with a 5-1 hammering of Basel on Tuesday.

The hosts, who had suffered a second consecutive league defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid at the weekend, went in front thanks to Marek Suchy’s own goal and then struck three times in six minutes to end the game as a contest.

Gareth Bale finished off a lovely move involving Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo before Ronaldo and James Rodriguez tapped home from close range.

Derlis Gonzalez pulled a goal back for the visitors moments later, but Karim Benzema rounded off the scoring for Real with a thumping finish late on.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti resisted calls for widespread changes following his side’s third defeat in six games this season with full-backs Marcelo and Nacho the only new faces from the side that started against Atletico.

However, Nacho had a big role to play in the opening goal on 14 minutes as he raced onto Rodriguez’s lovely backheel and fired in a low cross that Suchy could only direct into his own net.

Basel skipper Marco Streller nearly levelled immediately as he drilled into the side-netting from a narrow angle.

However, Real were gaining momentum as the half wore on and Tomas Vaclik had to make fine saves from Modric and Pepe before the three-goal blitz arrived.

Bale registered his second goal of the season when he was set free by a wonderful through ball by Modric with the outside of his foot and the Welshman lobbed the ball over the advancing Vaclik before slotting home.

It was 3-0 moments later when Modric fed Bale once more and this time he squared for Ronaldo to finish.

And Rodriguez rounded off his most encouraging display since sealing a big-money move from Monaco as the World Cup’s top scorer was left with a simple task after Vaclik could only parry Benzema’s initial effort.

Basel stuck to their task impressively and responded with a goal of real quality as Luca Zuffi picked out Gonzalez’s run and the Paraguayan arrowed a shot across Iker Casillas and into the far corner.

There were more encouraging signs for Basel at the start of the second half as Real’s intensity dropped and Casillas had to make an important save to prevent Gonzalez scoring his second of the evening after an error from substitute Raphael Varane.

Bale should then have teed up Ronaldo for his double instead of going alone when clean through as Vaclik made another impressive stop with his feet.

Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid 5-1 Basel. Bale, Ronaldo star as Real thrash Basel in Champions League opener

Cristiano Ronaldo could return to manchester united claims ex-Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon

Cristiano Ronaldo could be tempted to return to Manchester United because he is ‘fed up’ at Real Madrid according to former Los Blancos president Ramon Calderon.

Ronaldo made his name at Old Trafford before moving to the Santiago Bernabeu outfit in an £80 million deal – at the time a world record fee – in 2009.

The Portuguese star has gone on to win one La Liga title, two Spanish cups and a Champions League crown while in the Spanish capital as well as picking up the prestigious Ballon d’Or award earlier this year.

And with Real having endured a poor start to the new league campaign and having sold several big-name players over the past few seasons, Calderon claims that Ronaldo could move back to his former side United because he is unhappy at the club.

‘My impression is he is fed up with the policy of the current president [Florentino Perez],’ Calderon told talkSPORT.

‘When he came with [Arjen] Robben, he thought he would be a good colleague for him in the team.

‘[Gonzalo] Higuain was sold and he didn’t like that. Last year he thought it was a mistake to let [Mesut] Ozil leave and the last straw was selling Xabi Alonso and Angel di María this summer.’

He added: ‘When I signed him in 2009, I remember he said he was grateful to Manchester United.

‘He had a marvellous time there, he likes everything. It is a really great club.’

It is believed that Real will ask for about £60 million to sell Ronaldo next year – with both United and their rivals, Manchester City, thought to be preparing bids to try and lure the 29-year-old back to England in the coming months.

On Monday Real Madrid Begins Preparations for the Champions League 2014/15 Group Stage opener against Basel. Here are the Training Session Pictures:
Fortsätt läsa Cristiano Ronaldo could return to manchester united claims ex-Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon

Ronaldo ‘100% ready’ for Madrid derby

Cristiano Ronaldo has been declared ”100% ready” for the Madrid derby as coach Carlo Ancelotti assures he will get it right with his revamped Real.

Ronaldo missed Portugal‘s shock defeat by Albania and Real’s loss to Sociedad on Sunday with an unspecified injury.

”My confidence lies on two pillars,” said Ancelotti ahead of the visit of champions Atletico.

”I have a group of professionals that are very concentrated and Cristiano scores a goal a game.”

He added: ”Cristiano is on top form. He is in optimal condition. He doesn’t have a chronic injury.”

Atletico boss Diego Simeone will be forced to watch from the stands after being given an eight-match touchline ban for his behaviour in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Real, with assistant coach German Burgos stepping in.

The Rojiblancos broke Barcelona and Real Madrid’s 10-year duopoly by winning the La Liga title for the first time since 1996 and beat Real over two legs to lift the Spanish Super Cup in August.

Ancelotti’s side, who did win their 10th European Cup with victory over their Madrid rivals in May, have not won a league title since 2012 and have started the season disappointingly.

Manchester United loanee Javier Hernandez could make his Real debut from the substitutes bench on Saturday, while big-money summer signings Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez are also expected to be involved.

Colombia’s golden boot winner Rodriguez has struggled to make an early impact since his £63m signing from Monaco, while Real are adjusting to life without Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria and Bayern Munich’s Xabi Alonso.

”I will find the right solution for Madrid,” said Ancelotti. ”All the signings and transfers have been given the green light from the coach.

”It’s clear that a new player needs time to adapt. I am pleased with what James has done so far. It’s normal that he might have the odd problem at the start.”

Simeone has already downplayed his side’s chances of defending their league title for the first time in more than 60 years as his side again bid to defy the financial odds.

A summer player exodus saw five of last season’s key players depart, including goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and top scorer Diego Costa – both now at Chelsea.

There have also been incomings, though, with France winger Antoine Griezmann becoming their second most expensive player ever after Radamel Falcao when he joined from Real Sociedad for £24m.

Real Madrid’s Paul Clement on keeping their big players happy

Striker Mario Mandzukic cost in the region of £17m from Bayern Munich, while Jan Oblak, Raul Jimenez, Guilherme Siqueira, Correa, Miguel Angel Moya, and Jesus Gomez have also arrived for significant sums of money.

”We will go into the game with the idea of winning but we won’t have an excess of confidence. The derbies have been fairly equal recently and we have managed to break a run,” said Atletico defender Junafran.

”The Real fans now look at us differently. They have an incredible team and while some leave others come in. Their president says that they sign the best and that is possible for very few. They cannot complain about the team they have.

”We are a very strong team and we will use our strengths and make the most of them. We will not change our way of playing.”

Cristiano Ronaldo clarifies Real Madrid transfer comments

Cristiano Ronaldo has defended his recent comments about Real Madrid’s transfer policy.

The Portugal captain last week suggested that he was unhappy with Madrid’s decision to sell a number of key players this summer, including the likes of Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso.

However, Ronaldo took to Twitter on Saturday to insist that he is happy with the La Liga club’s transfer dealings during the recent window.

“My statements were misinterpreted. Yesterday I heard the president and I’m with him 100 per cent,” Ronaldo tweeted.

“My new team-mates are great! With them we have completed a great team. We’re going for it all! A hug and Hala Madrid!”

Ronaldo said last week: “I have strong opinions but I can’t always say what I think.

“Otherwise it would be on the front page tomorrow and I don’t want that.

“But if it was up to me, I wouldn’t have done so. But if the president thinks the best thing for the team is to sign players and let others leave, we must respect and support the decision.”

Angel Di Maria hints at Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United move

Angel Di Maria has dropped a transfer hint that will have all Manchester United fans waiting on tenterhooks with anticipation, after he let on that Cristiano Ronaldo might not be happy at Real Madrid.

Over the course of the past week speculation has raged surrounding Ronaldo’s position at the Santiago Bernabeu, after the free-scoring forward made it known that he was disgruntled with Di Maria’s sale.

The former United star told Spanish sources that he wouldn’t have let his former teammate leave if it were his decision, conjuring rumours that he was becoming frustrated with Florentino Perez’s routine of selling big-name players.

Furthermore Perez was said to be annoyed at Ronaldo’s decision to go public on the matter, though these claims have since been denied by the man himself. Yet the fact remains that Madrid’s star man earlier this week reiterated his love for United, and opened up positively about the possibility of returning to play there before his career was done.

It’s a far-fetched idea for sure, particularly when its considered that he signed a new contract only last September – one that sees him earn £280,000-a-week – but Di Maria’s most recent comments made it ever slightly more feasible.

Di Maria hint

He [Ronaldo] was always there for me. I don’t know how long he’ll endure it at Madrid,” Di Maria said, according to ESPN.

”The Madrid president said he bought James Rodriguez because I wanted to go but I never said that. Cristiano always supported me because he knew I didn’t want to go, but these things happen and the club decided to bring in other players. The €75 million (£59.7m) they got through selling me was very good for the club.”

It certainly makes sense to assume that if Ronaldo does leave Madrid the only club he’ll be moving onto is United, and Louis van Gaal has proven this summer that the days when the Red Devils were reluctant to pay a king’s ransom in order to entice a top player are over.