Ronaldo retains Club WC for Real

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 Dec 2017 11:19:57


 

ABU DHABI,

CRISTIANO Ronaldo’s second-half free-kick ensured Real Madrid picked up a fifth trophy of 2017 by beating Gremio 1-0 in Abu Dhabi to retain the Club World Cup.
A third Club World Cup in four years brings Madrid level with rivals Barcelona as the most successful side in the competition’s history and adds to the La Liga, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup titles already won by Zinedine Zidane’s men this year.


Ronaldo was once again Real’s man for the big occasion as his strike went through the Gremio wall eight minutes after the break to ensure the European club champions were also crowned world champions for a fifth straight year.
“We wanted to win because Real Madrid have never won five trophies in one year,” said Ronaldo.
“I think we played a very good game and deserved to win.”
Ronaldo has now scored 15 goals in 20 appearances for Madrid this season despite a slow start in La Liga.


“The numbers speak for themselves,” added the Portuguese. “I give my answers on the pitch. The team were phenomenal and it is another trophy for the CV.”
Gareth Bale was left on the bench despite scoring with his first touch as a substitute against Al Jazira on Wednesday to book Madrid’s place in the final, as Zinedine Zidane kept faith with the same side that started Real’s Champions League final triumph over Juventus back in June.


Gremio booked their ricket to Abu Dhabi by winning the Copa Libertadores for the third time last month and Madrid knew they weren’t in for a comfortable evening just two minutes in when Gremio captain Pedro Geromel raked his studs down the back of Ronaldo’s calf without any punishment from Mexican referee Cesar Ramos. Ronaldo, though, confirmed he will be fit for next weekend’s Clasico against Barcelona. Madrid dominated possession but, unlike in their profligate semi-final performance, found clear-cut chances hard to come by against the well-organised Gremio defence.


Luka Modric came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half with a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that flew inches wide of the far post.
Ronaldo also hammered a long-range free-kick that dipped onto the roof of the net, whilst Edilson gave Keylor Navas a similar scare at the other end with a free-kick from range.
Gremio pleaded for the referee to consult with the video assistant referee (VAR) when Sergio Ramos clipped Ramiro inside the area early in the second period.


A modern day Di Stefano, Ronaldo wants to retire at Real


CRISTIANO Ronaldo insisted he wants to finish his playing career at Real Madrid after making more history with the goal that saw the Spanish giants crowned world champions.
Ronaldo scored the only goal of the Club World Cup final against Gremio to win the tournament for the fourth time and become the all-time top scorer in the competition with seven goals.


“I would really like to, but things don’t depend on me. What depends on me is what I do on the pitch,” said Ronaldo, when asked if he planned to retire at Madrid.
“I am not the one who runs the club, that is for those in charge.


“My job is on the pitch and I think I am doing it well, the rest I can’t control.” Ronaldo, 32, signed a new deal to 2021 with the club just over a year ago, but sparked speculation over his future after leading Madrid to the Champions League in June due to his apparent discontent with the club’s lack of involvement in a tax case brought against him by Spanish prosecutors.


The Portuguese appeared in court in July over accusations he evaded 14.7 million euros ($17.3 million) worth of tax between 2011 and 2014.
“Obviously, but at the right moment,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane when asked if Ronaldo should be rewarded with another new contract.


“For us it is fundamental Cristiano stays. He is at his club, his home and no one can do what he keeps doing, so hopefully he stays here until he retires.”
Ronaldo has smashed Real’s club records since joining from Manchester United in 2009 and is way out in front as Madrid’s all-time top scorer with 434 goals in 414 appearances.


He also picked up his fifth Ballon d’Or to match Barcelona rival Lionel Messi’s record mark earlier this month and Madrid president Florentino Perez hailed Ronaldo as the heir to club legend Alfredo di Stefano, who lead Real to win the first five European Cups.
“He is the best without doubt. Not just for his talent or his technique but his ambition, his effort, his leadership, it is difficult to find players like Cristiano,” Perez told Real Madrid TV.


“I watched Alfredo di Stefano from when I was a kid, he is the successor to him. This is a different Madrid, but Cristiano has marked an era.”
Ronaldo claimed he was the best player in history after picking up his latest Ballon d’Or and backed up that bold statement when asked about comparisons to Di Stefano.
“I don’t have to keep speaking constantly about myself, I continue to believe what I said two weeks ago at the Ballon d’Or,” he said.


“I am a very confident person and the numbers don’t lie. The numbers speak for themselves.
“I am very happy, I remain very motivated to keep winning things at a collective and individual level. I still feel strong enough continue my trajectory as a player and to win trophies which is what I like most.”