• Champions League

Casillas: 'Sensational' Ronaldo to bring down Utd

ESPN staff
February 28, 2013
Iker Casillas believes Cristiano Ronaldo will be the difference when Madrid travel to Old Trafford © AP

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas believes a "sensational" Cristiano Ronaldo will prove the difference when Madrid meets Manchester United in the second-leg of the clubs' Champions League tie.

Ronaldo recently fired Los Blancos into the Copa del Rey final after his opening two goals laid the platform for a 3-1 (4-2 aggregate) victory over arch-rivals Barcelona.

And Madrid captain Casillas said the Portuguese star's performance at Camp Nou was just another indicator the former United winger was primed to deliver the knockout blow to his former club next Tuesday.

"Cristiano is vital for us. Right now he's in sensational form and gives us his maximum," Casillas said. "It will be difficult as they also know how to play and their ground is tough to play at.

"We have to transfer what we did here at Camp Nou to Old Trafford. It is also 1-1 and we have to score and keep a clean sheet. That's the aim that we're going with."

The 31-year-old keeper hailed the performance against Barcelona as a "turning point" in Madrid's season, ending Barcelona's reign as Spanish Cup kings in their own back-yard.

But with their rivals a massive 16 points in front of Madrid in La Liga, and United holding a crucial away goal heading into the match at Old Trafford, Casillas stressed the importance of using the Spanish Cup victory as motivation for the rest of the season.

"Hopefully this is a turning point to have won this tie and to make it better it was against Barcelona," said Casillas. "We played a very good tie all round and this will motivate us to make a good showing of ourselves in other matches. Winning the Champions League is a better possibility than the league, but Real Madrid will fight to the end.

"What we want to do is win and keep cutting their lead.

"It is a considerable gap, but with the added bonus of our home fans we want to round off the week well."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.