• Champions League

Real out for Liverpool revenge - Ronaldo

ESPN staff
August 29, 2014
Ronaldo named UEFA's European player of the year for 2013-14

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that Real Madrid will be out to put the record straight against Liverpool when the sides meet in the Champions League.

For two clubs with such a rich history in European competition, they have only met three times. Perhaps more surprisingly, Real Madrid are yet to score against their English opponents, with Liverpool winning 1-0 in the 1980-81 European Cup final before a 5-0 aggregate victory in the last-16 of the 2008-2009 Champions League.

'The fans will be key'

Brendan Rodgers is looking forward to his first European night as Liverpool manager © Getty Images
  • Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased to be paired with Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage.
  • Speaking from the club's Melwood training ground, where he watched the draw, he said: "To be back in it again, no matter who we were going to play, was always going to be exciting.
  • "But to have Real Madrid in your group, the champions last season, is going to be special. I'm already thinking of Anfield on that night. I'll be very proud, but more proud for the players and the supporters, for what they have put into us arriving there.
  • "They will be critical and they are going to be key for us throughout the league campaign and the Champions League campaign. The nights at Anfield are really special.
  • "To see that flag back out in the middle of the pitch and for the supporters to get behind their team, like they do, is going to be an amazing experience."

But Ronaldo, named UEFA's European player of the year for 2013-14, said Real are "a different team" and are relishing the prospect of facing Liverpool.

Speaking at the draw for the group stages on Thursday, he said: "I know what happened the last time Real played Liverpool, but I was not there then. Now it's different. Every game has a different story. We are a different team, with a different coach.

"Liverpool are different too, so let's see who's going to be the best. But it will be nice for me to face Liverpool. I've never played there since I came to Real Madrid.

"For me, knowing it's going to be the first time, I'm looking forward to it. I know Anfield. But we are Real Madrid.

"Liverpool are a fantastic team. They came very close last year to winning the Premier League. We know it's going to be a very tough game at their home.

"If I was going back to Old Trafford, the reception from the fans would be amazing for me. Going to Liverpool will be very different - wow!

"Of course I know that it's a very difficult place to go, although I won there a few times with United."

He added: "We're going to try to do the same this season, win the Champions League. We know it's a hard competition to win but we will try because Real Madrid are always thinking big - huge.

"But in general the group is nice and it's going to be good for Real Madrid. Our target is to win it again - the Champions League, the Cup, the League - everything.

After a poor World Cup by his standards, Ronaldo revealed he is still not fully fit.

"Everyone knows I'm not at 100 percent, but right now I will have time to prepare and recover so that when the tough games come Cristiano will be ready," he said.

"I still need a bit of time. I didn't have a pre-season like I'd have wanted to have. But little by little I'm gaining confidence and getting better physically and certainly in one or two weeks I will be in top shape."

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