Lisbon: Saturday’s Champions League final at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light is going to be a very special one for Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo who will be making a rare club appearance in his homeland.
The 29-year-old Portuguese national captain, who has scored a season-record 16 goals in the competition, is delighted to be facing Atletico Madrid in his own capital city where he began his career with Sporting.
He has praised world record signing Gareth Bale and team mate Karim Benzema for taking Real to within 90 minutes of their long sought “decima”, their 10th European crown.
In an interview in the match programme, Ronaldo said the relationship between the three men, so crucial to Real’s attacking potency was excellent. “The connection we have is nearly perfect,” he said.
“Karim and Gareth are excellent players and both are enjoying good spells.
“I’m happy to be playing alongside them. Things are going well and that’s important for the club.”
There was huge media speculation that Ronaldo would not take kindly to Bale’s arrival in Madrid last year.
The £86 million fee Real paid to Tottenham Hotspur set a world record transfer record, breaking the previous mark of £80 million they paid to Manchester United for Ronaldo in 2009.
That, however, was never the case and Ronaldo has plenty of praise for the Welshman who has scored 20 goals for Real this season — 15 in La Liga and five in the Champions League.
Ronaldo said he made an immediate connection with the devastatingly quick midfielder who has settled well in Madrid after a slow start.