• Champions League

Mancini: We must stop Ronaldo

ESPN staff
November 20, 2012
Roberto Mancini is wary of the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo © PA Photos

Roberto Mancini has conceded that Manchester City will have a hard time beating Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday if they fail to contain Cristiano Ronaldo.

City host Real at the Etihad Stadium needing a win to keep their very slim hopes of qualification in tact, but Mancini joked that the home side will need to "call the police" just to reduce Ronaldo's impact.

"I just hope he can have a bad night on Wednesday because, when you come up against a player who can score one or two goals every game, it is difficult," he said. "Ronaldo is a top player and he deserves to win the Ballon d'Or.

"He scored so many goals last year and that helped Real to finish above Barcelona. I think that in a lot of games we play against top players, but Ronaldo is different because if you score one or two goals in every game, you need to pay attention. It's difficult for us because, at the moment, him and Messi are the best players in the world."

Ronaldo scored a late winner when City travelled to the Bernabeu in the opening game of this season's Champions League and Mancini believes Real's come-from-behind win dented the English champions' hopes of qualification.

"If we had come back from the Bernabeu with a good result it would have probably changed this group for us," he said. "It was really disappointing. It's not easy to play there and in the first half they played better than us, but the match totally changed in the second half and, when you are 2-1 up with three minutes to go, you should be very strong to close the game.

"I think that we don't have any chance to go to the second stage, but football is strange. I think for the fans it's an important game because, three or four years ago, City supporters would want this game and to play in the Champions League against Real and Barcelona. Now it's an important game and we want to do a good job."

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