Thursday, December 17, 2009

Facts and figures of the group stage

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

FC Girondins de Bordeaux proved the most successful side during the group stage while Cristiano Ronaldo topped the scoring chart, as looks over the key facts and figures from the UEFA Champions League so far.

Most points: 16 Bordeaux
The French champions' record of five wins and a draw has been matched 12 times before, most recently by eventual champions Manchester United FC in 2007/08. Four teams have finished with six wins out of six: Barcelona (2002/03), Spartak Moskva (1995/96), Paris Saint-Germain FC (1994/95) and Milan (1992/93), the only club in that quartet to reach the final in that season.

Fewest points: 0
Maccabi Haifa FC and Debreceni VSC
Haifa and Debrecen became the ninth and tenth teams to finish a UEFA Champions League group stage without a point. The other eight were: FC Dynamo Kyiv (2007/08), PFC Levski Sofia (2006/07), SK Rapid Wien (2005/06), RSC Anderlecht (2004/05), Bayer 04 Leverkusen (2002/03, second group stage), FC Spartak Moskva (2002/03), Fenerbahçe SK (2001/02), 1. FC Košice (1997/98).

Most goals conceded: 19 Debrecen
The Hungarian champions' tally was the joint-worst defensive record in the competition's history. Debrecen join Dynamo Kyiv (2007/08) and Ferencvárosi TC (1995/96) in holding such a dubious honour.

Fewest goals conceded: 2 FC Girondins de Bordeaux

Most goals scored: 15

Highest scorer: 6 Cristiano Ronaldo (Madrid)

Most assists: 4 Luis Fabiano (Sevilla FC), Tomáš Necid (PFC CSKA Moskva) Juan Vargas (Fiorentina) Wendel (Bordeaux)

Caught offside most times:
14 Filippo Inzaghi (Milan)

Most fouled: 29 Diego (Juventus)

Most shots: 31 Diego Forlán (Club Atlético de Madrid)
Forlán had the most shots on target (16) and off target (15).

Most possession: 69 per cent Barcelona
The holders enjoyed 69 per cent of possession on average in their six group games, with eliminated Liverpool second on 59 per cent. Of the 16 teams which qualified for the knockout phase, Group E winners Fiorentina enjoyed the least possession with 46 per cent (though only Madrid scored more than their 14 goals and only Bordeaux collected more than their 15 points).

Winning streaks: 5 Fiorentina and Bordeaux
Neither side has dropped a point since Matchday 1.

Number crunching

Sinan Bolat became the first goalkeeper to score from open play in the UEFA Champions League group stage when he headed in R. Standard de Liège's dramatic added-time equaliser against AZ Alkmaar on Matchday 6 to earn his side a UEFA Europa League place. The night before, Hans-Jörg Butt scored his third UEFA Champions League goal from the penalty spot in FC Bayern München's 4-1 win over Juventus. It was the first time two goalkeepers had scored on one matchday in the competition.

2 Hat-tricks scored: Michael Owen (Manchester United FC v VfL Wolfsburg), Grafite (Wolfsburg v CSKA Moskva).

2.48 Average goals per game in the group stage. A total of 238 goals were struck in the 96 matches played, down from 2.57 last season.

3 Yellows cards awarded to Liverpool. The fewest in the group stage. The Reds did not have any players sent off.

4 Teams that came through the qualifying process and reached the first knockout round: Arsenal FC, Olympique Lyonnais, VfB Stuttgart and the only team remaining from the third qualifying round, Olympiacos FC.

4 Olympiacos scored the least number of goals of a side through to the last 16 (four) since Villarreal CF needed just three to top Group D in 2005/06.

5 Following Owen's hat-trick, Manchester United have now equalled Barcelona's record as the team to have scored the most hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League with five.

7 Seven of the top eight seeds advanced with Liverpool, ranked third, the exception. The eight top-seeded sides were Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Liverpool, Manchester United, Milan, Arsenal, Sevilla and Bayern.

8 Nations represented in the first knockout round: England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Russia and Spain.

11 Manchester United and Barcelona have now won their groups on more occasions than any other side. Real Madrid moved level with Milan on ten after finishing ahead of the Rossoneri in Group C.

13 Madrid have reached the knockout phase for the 13th successive season, the longest run of any side. Arsenal, Chelsea and Lyon are through for the seventh successive campaigns, while Barcelona and FC Internazionale Milano are appearing for the sixth straight year.

45 Average minutes per goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo in the group stage. Despite starting just three games, the Real Madrid player scored six times in the 270 minutes he was on the pitch.

51 More goals were scored in the final quarter of an hour (76th-90th minutes) than at any other point during the group stage. The next highest tranche was between minute 61 and 75, when 36 goals were scored.

66 Raúl González tops the all-time UEFA Champions League scoring chart (group stage to final only) with 66 goals after scoring twice in the group stage. He also holds the appearance record with 129 matches.

100 Dynamo Kyiv striker Andriy Shevchenko entered the prestigious 100 club against Barcelona on Matchday 6, racking up a century of appearances in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas will join the club with his next appearance.

© 1998-2009. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Match facts: Marseille v Real Madrid

cristiano ronaldo real madrid

UEFA milestones
• None

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Brandão has committed 18 fouls to date, more than any other player in the group stage.

• Gabriel Heinze, Brandão and Stéphane Mbia are all within a booking of a ban.

Latest domestic information
• Saturday 5 December: OGC Nice 1-3 Olympique de Marseille (Coulibaly 33; Niang 19, Lucho 77, Koné 86)
Mandanda; Bonnart (Kaboré 83), Heinze, Diawara, Taiwo; Abriel, Lucho, Cheyrou, Cissé (Valbuena 67); Niang (Koné 86), Brandão.

• Mamadou Niang's opener against Nice was his first gosl in Ligue 1 since 4 October.

• Marseille had not won by more than a one-goal margin in the league since 17 October, when they beat AS Nancy-Lorraine 3-0.

• Substitute Bakari Koné scored OM's third – against his former side – just 28 seconds after coming on as a substitute.

• On 28 November, Marseille suffered their third Ligue 1 reverse this season, going down 1-0 at RC Lens. Eduardo hit the home side's winner in added time after OM goalkeeper Steve Mandanda had earlier saved a Yohan Demont penalty.

• The defeat was the first time Didier Deschamps's men had failed to score away from home this season since losing 3-0 to Madrid on Matchday 2, 30 September.

• Marseille have not won at Lens in the league since 2002/03.

• Fernando Morientes made his fourth start in all competitions since joining OM against Les Sang et Or, with all four of those matches ending in defeat.

• Mandanda has played all 1,260 minutes of Marseille's championship campaign this season, while Niang has featured in every game.

• The eleventh round of the Ligue 1 season was postponed to give the French national team added preparation time for their successful FIFA World Cup play-off against the Republic of Ireland. Marseille's meeting with FC Lorient will now take place on 16 December.

• Marseille are yet to lose a game when Brandão has scored, winning on eleven occasions and drawing twice.

Injury news
• Cyril Rool – out since 13 October (knee)
• Julien Rodriguez – out 15 April to 30 September and since 9 October (ankle)
• Stéphane Mbia – out since 20 November (ankle)

• Fabrice Abriel was voted Player of the Month for November by Marseille fans, following two consecutive awards for Niang.

• On 26 November, the French Football Federation ruled that Marseille must play one match behind closed doors due to crowd disturbances during their 2-1 loss to AS Monaco FC on 4 October.

• On 28 November, the Stade Vélodrome played host to a rugby match between France and New Zealand, which the visitors won 39-12.

Real Madrid

UEFA milestones
• None

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the competition with four goals.

• Thanks to their 12 efforts overall, Madrid are joint top scorers in the group stage after five outings along with ACF Fiorentina and Arsenal FC.

• The Spanish side have also won more corners than any other club: 46.

• Madrid have collected 14 yellow cards so far, the highest total in the group stage along with FC Internazionale Milano.

• Marcelo and Lassana Diarra's next yellow cards will incur a suspension.

Latest domestic information
• Saturday 5 December: Real Madrid CF 4-2 UD Almería
(Sergio Ramos 31, Higuaín 73, Benzema 82, Ronaldo 84; Soriano 58, Uche 62)
Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Albiol, Arbeloa; Granero, Xabi Alonso (Drenthe 88), Van der Vaart (Benzema 62), Marcelo (M. Diarra 84); Ronaldo, Higuaín.

• Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty before scoring Madrid's fourth against Almería but was sent off in the 88th minute and will now miss the trip to Valencia CF on 13 December.

• With Lassana Diarra suspended and Kaká carrying a groin injury, Manuel Pellegrini gave midfield starts to Esteban Granero and Rafael van der Vaart against Almería. Ronaldo partnered Gonzalo Higuaín in attack for the second Liga game in a row.

• Madrid have won ten of their eleven contests at home in all competitions this season, with their only defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu coming at the hands of AC Milan on Matchday 3.

• Madrid slipped from top spot in Spain when they were handed their second Liga defeat of the campaign, losing 1-0 away against eternal rivals FC Barcelona in 'El Clásico' on 29 November.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović's second-half strike was enough to seal the 159th championship meeting between the two teams and send Barça to the summit.

• It was only the second time in 12 Liga games that Los Merengues had failed to register this term. The capital club had previously been shut out by Real Sporting de Gijón in a 0-0 draw on 24 October.

• The loss nonetheless left Madrid with the same points tally (28) that they boasted at the same stage of their most recent title-winning season, 2007/08. They had 29 points after 13 fixtures that year, two fewer than their current tally.

• Pellegrini's side have conceded eleven goals from their first 13 league fixtures, nine fewer than they had shipped at the same stage last season.

Injury news
• Cristiano Ronaldo – out from 10 October to 25 November (ankle)
• Lassana Diarra – out from 18-25 November (thigh)
• Raúl Albiol – out from 25-29 November (knee)
• Guti – out since 20 November (thigh)
• Ruud van Nistelrooy – out since 20 November (thigh)
• Christoph Metzelder – out since 26 November (hamstring)
• Kaká – out since 1 December (groin)

• Kaká aggravated a persistent groin injury in the lead-up to the Almería match. "He has been playing through the pain," commented Madrid sporting director Miguel Pardeza.

• On 4 December, Raúl González celebrated the birth of his fifth child and first daughter, María González Redondo.

• On 2 December, Guti celebrated his 14th year as a senior Madrid player. The midfielder debuted for the club in a home encounter against Sevilla FC on the same day in 1995.

• Ronaldo finished as runner-up to Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the running for the 2009 Ballon d'Or award, the result of which was announced on 1 December.

© 1998-2009. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cristiano honored by AS

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
A large contingent of Madridistas attended the AS Sports Awards

Arancha Diaz / Translation by

Florentino Perez, Jorge Valdano, Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Felipe Reyes, Jorge Garbajosa and Sergio Llull attended the AS Sports Awards ceremony on Thursday evening.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the center of attention of the third edition of the award ceremony as the recipient of the award. "It is an honor to be the first foreigner to win this award," said the Madridista, "but it couldn't have happened without team work."

"I do not feel any added pressure," for being the most expensive signing ever," added Ronaldo, "the President was correct in signing me and I will bring a lot of joy to Real Madrid and football fans during my time here."

Cristiano Ronaldo also discussed the World Cup draw and commented on the Spanish national team, who "I wouldn't like to have to play against any time soon but preferaby in the final."

Felipe Reyes, Jorge Garbajosa and Sergio Llull later took the stage to collect another award based on the success of the Spanish national team.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ronaldo on track to return to training on Friday

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
Reuters - Wednesday, November 18

MADRID - Tests on Cristiano Ronaldo's injured ankle have shown the Real Madrid winger's recovery is going according to plan and he should be back in full training on Friday, the La Liga club said.

Ronaldo, who has already begun light training apart from the rest of the squad, was examined on Tuesday by Real medical staff and Dutch doctor Niek van Dijk, who treated the same ankle last year, the club said on their website .

Ronaldo was hurt in late September and aggravated the injury playing for Portugal 10 days later. He has not played since but could return for Saturday's La Liga game with Racing Santander or the Champions League match against FC Zurich on November 25.

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid wallpaper
cristiano ronaldo real madrid wallpapers

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ronaldo resumes training, may play against Zurich

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madridReal Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo warms up as he takes part in his first training session after recovering from an ankle sprain in Madrid. Ronaldo resumed training on Monday, several weeks after suffering an ankle injury, and may be fit to play against FC Zurich in the Champions League next week.

MADRID (AFP) - – Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo resumed training on Monday, several weeks after suffering an ankle injury, and may be fit to play against FC Zurich in the Champions League next week.

The world's most expensive player has said he hopes to play against Racing Santander in the league this weekend.

But Real does not want to risk him so soon, and he is expected to take the field again on November 25 against Zurich, before playing in the "clasico" match at Barcelona four days later, the club said.

The Portuguese winger was among a dozen or so players training on Monday, the others being absent due to international commitments.

Ronaldo injured his right ankle in Real's 3-0 Champions League victory over Marseille at the end of September and aggravated the problem while playing for Portugal on October 10.

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ronaldo hopes to play in 'clasico'

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo Real MadridReal Madrid's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo (R) having his right ankle checked by the team's doctor Henrique Jones (L) in Lisbon, on November 10. Ronaldo said Thursday he was recovering well from his ankle injury and hopes to play in the "clasico" match at Barcelona on November 29.

MADRID (AFP) - – Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo said Thursday he was recovering well from his ankle injury and hopes to play in the "clasico" match at Barcelona on November 29.

"Everything is going very well, I have started running again and I think I will start training with the team next week," the Portuguese winger told Spanish media at a ceremony at Real's Bernebeu stadium.

"Of course, I want to play against Barcelona, but I want to play again before then," including against Zurich in the Champions League on November 25.

Ronaldo injured his right ankle in Real's 3-0 Champions League victory over Marseille at the end of September and aggravated the problem while playing for Portugal on October 10.

On Tuesday he was ruled out of his country's crucial World Cup play-off matches against Bosnia-Herzegovina on November 14 and 18 after undergoing medical tests on the injury in Lisbon.

Both Portugal - World Cup semi-finalists in 2006 - and Real had been locked in a battle over Ronaldo with the club insisting that he was not fit enough to travel.

Ronaldo, bought from Manchester United last summer for a world record 94 million euros, is the top scorer in the Primera Liga with five goals and in the Champions League with four.

Spanish media have reported that Real coach Manuel Pellegrini's job is in jeopardy after the team was eliminated from the Spanish Cup by third division minnows Alcorcon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cristiano Ronaldo injury update

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

The player must remain inactive until he undergoes another examination in one week’s time

Following an MRI on Wednesday to monitor the evolution of Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury, the pathology report shows that the soft tissues (joint synovitis, tenosynovitis and sprained internal lateral ligament) are healing favorably and that swelling of the bone edema has decreased. Despite this improvement, a minor bone edema has been found in the center of his right ankle. The player must remain inactive until he undergoes another examination in one week’s time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cristiano Ronaldo: "I never get tired of winning" "I’m willing to leave a mark at Real Madrid" / Translation by Manuel Arcedillo

Cristiano Ronaldo talked in an interview to El Pais Semanal about the pressure he’s gone through since he was a child and about his new era at Real Madrid.

“When I was eleven I moved on my own to Lisbon. I cried every day, but I liked the experience. I learned a lot, especially about living under pressure.”

“I’ve always had my feet on the ground. I’m a normal guy who does unusual things, that’s all. I always try to leave a good impression. I do it especially for kids because it’s important that they grow up with good role models. The people who live with me know I’m an honest man. I’m not two-faced.”

“I’m at a great club and I’m going to prove to myself, my family, the ones who love me and the people who signed me that I’m worth it. I’ve been taking huge responsibilities since I was very young. It was difficult at the beginning but I felt glad that people trusted me so much. It gave me strength.”

“I’m willing to leave a good mark at Real Madrid. I don’t get tired of winning, and if victories come playing good football, all the better. We have a solid squad and a great coach, so we have everything we need to succeed.”

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid

Real Madrid Training

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid

Cristiano's best cicerones

Heinze, Van Nistelrooy and Pepe have already played alongside Ronaldo

Alberto Navarro / Translation by

Cristiano Ronaldo may leave Manchester to play in Spain. The adjustment to his new team shouldn't be that hard having already shared a dressing room with Pepe, Van Nistelrooy and Heinze.

Van Nistelrooy:
"Good players are always welcome. Cristiano is fantastic."

"He is very young, but he has a lot of experience after playing in the World Cup, Euro, Champions League and English competitions. He is strong both physically and technically. He's got it all."

"We are very good friends. We connected well when we both played at Manchester."

"He is very intelligent and an outstanding football player."

"I think having Cristiano on your side is always the best option. He likes Real Madrid and has always dreamed about playing here, and he likes the city."

"Cristiano is a first-class player. He is the whole package and solid at set-pieces. He can determine the outcome of a match in a matter of seconds."

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid

Scoring is a way of life

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 150 goals in seven years, an average of 21.5 per season

Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the most well-rounded player in football today. He's got the speed, dribbling skills, the ability to use both feet, an aerial attack, leadership skills, crossing ability, and the list goes on... There is little wonder why Ronaldo has scored 150 goals in the seven years he has played top flight football.

Cristiano Ronaldo's debut in the Portuguese Super League couldn't have started any other way. The first time he suited up with the first team against Moreirense resulted in two superb goals. The first after he recovered the ball in the midfield, dribbled past one defender after another and beat the goalkeeper with a beautiful lob. For the second he displayed his aerial prowess so characteristic of the way he plays.

Additionally, Cristiano is a specialist at capitalizing on set-peices. He improved in this aspect while in England, where his first -against Portsmouth- and last -against Manchester City- goals were free kicks.

A hat-trick against Newcastle in January of last year and a total of 29 braces are the proof of the pudding of the Portuguese's voracity on opponent's goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo is also well-rounded with his national team, for whom he has scored 22 goals. In total, the star from Madeira has scored 150 goals, 93 of which were with his right foot, 27 with his left and 30 with his head. What's great is that he is only 24-years old and has plenty of room for improvement. If his possible signing for Real Madrid finally takes place, the Santiago Bernabeu will enjoy watching the total package.

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid

A packed Bernabeu gave the new Madridista a very warm welcome Presentation of Cristiano Ronaldo / Juan Jose Lopez Soto / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell

Never in the history of any football club had the presentation of a player been so anticipated. Today, over 80,000 fans gathered at the Bernabeu to greet Ronaldo as a Madridista.

A stage was set on the north side of the pitch, with trophies and pictures of legendary Real Madrid players surrounding it. The first to take it were President Florentino Perez, Honorary President Alfredo di Stefano and guest of honour and legendary Portuguese player Eusebio.

A spectacular video montage of Ronaldo's best plays and goals was shown just before the act began, and it was followed by another paying tribute to great Madridistas of recent times like Beckham, Raul, Casillas, Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Guti, Robinho...

Florentino Perez
"Thank you all for being here. You represent the greatest symbol of Madridismo, which is the passion the Club Members and fans all around the world feel for this team. You are essential in making this the most admired and respected club in the world. What's happening tonight has no precedent and your massive attendance represents the essence of this Real Madrid. Thank you for being the stars in this unstoppable showcasing of strength, excitement and vision."

"There are Portuguese fans here with us today to help us greet one of their own into this house. It is an honour for us to have here one of the best players of all times and a symbol of the best Portuguese football in history: the legendary Eusebio."

"You must all be aware that here, on this stage, we have two friends that happen to be two of the best players in history: Eusebio and Di Stefano. Very few are privileged enough to reach greatness and we are greeting one of those people today. Real Madrid welcomes one of the chosen ones capable of making the dreams of football fans throughout the world come true. Today we welcome Cristiano Ronaldo."

At that moment, the player came out from the dressing room amidst cheers of "Si, si, si. Ronaldo en el Madrid." (Yes, yes, yes, Ronaldo at Real Madrid).

As soon as Cristiano reached the stage, the President finished off his speech. "Dear cristiano Ronaldo. This is your crowd now. It is the same crowd that put Real Madrid at the height of world football. Your talent has allowed you to see one of your dreams come true. We are very satisfied with knowing you wanted to play for Real Madrid. Football for you is a blessing and you are aware of the fact that the priority here is the success of the team as a whole. Cristiano, welcome to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Welcome to the place where our legend was born. Welcome to Real Madrid."

Cristiano Ronaldo
"I am very happy about being here. This is a dream come true; as a child I dreamt of playing for Real Madrid. I didn't expect the stadium to be packed. This is unbelievable. Thank you all. Hala Madrid!"

Following these brief words, Ronaldo got close to the stands and greeted many supporters.

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid
cristiano ronaldo real madrid

Sunday, August 9, 2009

First glimpse of the Bernabeu

Cristiano Ronaldo visited the stadium offices hours before his presentation

Cristiano Ronaldo is now familiar with the Santiago Bernabeu. The player arrived shortly after 14:00 and had a quick tour of the inner confines including a stop at the Presidential Balcony.

After being given the green light at Sanitas La Moraleja Hospital, Cristiano Ronaldo was driven to the Santiago Bernabeu where he was welcomed by Jorge Valdano.

The Director General and Presidential Aide gave the player a bried tour of the stadium and took several minutes to overlook his new pitch from the Presidential Balcony. The two later made their way to Puerta 57 restaurant, where Ronaldo could look out the window to see the sight of where he hopes to have many magical nights of football.

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

As many as 80,000 fans may attend Cristiano Ronaldo's presentation Possible new record / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell

Maradona, Kaka, Ronaldinho and Beckham are some of the players who were greeted by thousands of fans when they arrived to new teams. More than 55,000 people attended Kaka's presentation at the Bernabeu last week and all eyes are now on Cristiano Ronaldo, whose unveiling could break every existing record with the attendance of 80,000 supporters. It would be the most popular presentation since Maradona's at Napoli.

Diego Armando Maradona signed for Napoli in 1984 after a stint at Barcelona. His arrival in the Italian city was highly anticipated and 75,000 fans greeted him at the stadium despite having to pay for tickets to attend the presentation. There were more than 300 accredited journalisrs and RAI televised the event after paying $30,000 for the rights.

Cristiano Ronaldo's presentation could prove even more popular. More than 55,000 supporters greeted Kaka at the Bernabeu last week; his presentation being more popular than Ronaldinho's at Barcelona (20,000 fans) and Milan (40,000).

Thirty thousand Barcelona supporters gathered at Camp Nou for the presentation of Henry, and David Beckham's arrival at LA Galaxy met with the fervent support of 8,000 fans; quite a record in a country in which football is yet to become a popular sport -there were more accredited journalists there than at the Superbowl-.

Madridistas will start taking the Bernabeu this evening at 19:00 CET to greet their new idol and may well pack the stadium. Cristiano Ronaldo's presentation could make history by breaking every existing record.

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid