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Ronaldo ‘better’ at Real

Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo believes he has become a better player since joining Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009 and has thrived on the obsession the La Liga club have with winning a 10th European title.

Real play city rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final on May 24 and are one step away from the record-extending continental crown that has eluded them since they last won Europe’s elite club competition exactly 12 years ago, on May 15, 2002.

Ronaldo, 29, is the top-scorer in this season’s competition with a record 16 goals, two more than the previous best set by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and former AC Milan striker Jose Altafini.

“I’ve changed for the better, of course,” Ronaldo said on Real’s website on Thursday. “I won the Champions League with Manchester United and now this is my fifth season with Real Madrid,” added the Portugal captain, a European champion with the English Premier League club in 2008.

“I’ve always dreamed of winning this competition with this club (Real), it is a trophy we have spent years trying to win. As a result, from the very first day we arrive at the club we feel a positive kind of pressure geared towards winning the Champions League.”