MANCHESTER — Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney says Cristiano Ronaldo is a massive threat for his side’s Champions League last 16 return against Real Madrid, but insists the Red Devils will have the last laugh over his former teammate and qualify.
Report by Reuters
Ronaldo will face United at Old Trafford tonight for the first time since his world record £80 million move to the Bernabeu three-and-a-half years ago.
“I think we obtained a good result in the opening leg in getting a 1-1 draw — the away goal gives us a certain advantage for the home leg,” Rooney said, while warning that United would have to keep Ronaldo quiet if they were to reach the last eight.
“Without doubt, Cristiano,” said Rooney in an exchange on Sunday with Real sponsors bwin when asked who he thought posed the greatest threat.
“He is incredible. I have played with him and I know just how good he is.
“He is the player I have the most respect for in their team as a footballer and as a person.”
Real midfield star Kaka meanwhile said that the Spaniards were not feeling they had missed their chance by failing to obtain an opening leg lead.
“The feeling was we could have won it but it wasn’t to be. Now the team goes to Old Trafford full of confidence to get a win there,” Kaka said, adding that the United players he most rated and respected were Rooney and Robin Van Persie.
In another crucial Champions League tie tonight, another former European champion, Borussia Dortmund, who beat Juve in the 1997 final, face a highly-skilled and difficult-to-beat Shakhtar Donetsk side.
The second leg between Borussia Dortmund and Shakhtar Donetsk starts level after they drew the first leg 2-2 in Ukraine, but Dortmund, tipped by some as potential Champions League winners, also start as the favourites to advance.
Uefa Champions League Fixtures
Today: Man Utd v Real Madrid (Old Trafford, 2145), Borussia Dortmund v Shakhtar Donetsk (Signal Iduna Park, 2145)
Tomorrow: PSG v Valencia (Parc des Princes, 2145), Juventus v Celtic (Juventus Stadium, 2145)