Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Citizens Focus on Threat of Ronaldo; Real Star Back in Manchester

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Citizens Focus on Threat of Ronaldo; Real Star Back in Manchester

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER City boss Roberto Mancini knows his side's Champions League hopes hinge on containing the "incredible" Cristiano Ronaldo. The prolific Portugal forward will make his first return to Manchester since leaving Old Trafford three years ago as Real Madrid visit the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League.

It is a match City must win to retain any hope of qualifying for the knockout stages from Group D. Ronaldo, 27, is at the height of his powers and has scored a remarkable 165 goals in 162 appearances for Real, including the late winner when they met City at the Bernabeu in September.

Mancini is well aware of his threat, even without taking into account any extra incentive from playing back in Manchester. Mancini said: "I think it is not only tonight - I think Ronaldo has a big impact on every game.

"One player that scores every game, one or two goals, is an incredible player. "For this reason we should have more attention on him because he is a player that can change the game."

City have collected just two points from their first four matches in the competition and are almost out of the reckoning.

Real will have plenty of reason to push for a result themselves as they trail group leaders Borussia Dortmund by a point and must shake off any late charge from Ajax or City.

City striker Carlos Tevez knows all about Ronaldo having played alongside him at Old Trafford.

Tevez said: "Cristiano is one of the best players in the world and he will play in this game the way he always has done.

"He does not seem to feel pressure, and there will be no added pressure just because he is back in Manchester. "Once he gets a chance to face up to you and run at you with the ball he is very, very dangerous and he strikes the ball well too."

There has been much debate as to whether Ronaldo or Barcelona's Lionel Messi is the best player in the world, and the pair head the shortlist for this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or. …

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