Brazilian striker Ronaldo may have a FIFA World Cup winner's medal in his
posssion, but he is hungry for another honour this season.
Should Real Madrid CF win the UEFA Champions League in May, he will become
the only current player to have lifted all three major European club
trophies. Having triumphed in the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and
the UEFA Cup with previous clubs FC Barcelona and Internazionale FC,
Ronaldo knows he will never get a better chance to complete the rare and
coveted set than this year with Madrid's star-studded side.
"From a personal point of view, winning the Champions League is one of my
biggest remaining ambitions," Ronaldo told uefa.com. "It is a great
competition and for Real Madrid it is the big one. But I want to win
everything - not just for me but for my club, so that I can pay back the
trust that they put in me."
If the Spanish giants do lift the European Champion Clubs' Cup they will
make history as the first to win the trophy on ten occasions. Their galaxy
of stars had widely been expected to reach that landmark last season, but
a semi-final defeat at the hands of Juventus FC - losing 3-1 in Turin
after winning their home leg 2-1 - forced them to go back to the drawing
"Going out in the semis was a big failure for us because we all believed
we were good enough to be champions," said Ronaldo. "I think we have the
best team in the world, so not winning the Champions League was very
disappointing. But I am not the only person who felt this way because we
all have high expectations at this great club. Scoring goals was not the
problem, but we lost out by not being defensively tight when it mattered
most. This year we are concentrating more on stopping the opposition, but
that's not easy because at Madrid we just love to attack."
However, despite beginning their 2003/04 Champions League campaign with
two impressive wins over Olympique de Marseille and FC Porto, Madrid have
yet to record a clean sheet this season either in Europe or the Primera
División. On the other hand, no fewer than ten players have already scored
for Madrid in just eight games, with Ronaldo heading the pack with seven
am happy both on and off the pitch
"Life's good at the moment," he said. "I am happy both on and off the
pitch and things couldn't be going better for me at Real Madrid. It is one
of the best times of my career so far. What I like to do most is play
football and to be playing with the best players in the world is perfect.
I have to say that it is a lot easier to play football when you have these
guys as team-mates!"
The signing of David Beckham last summer looks to have improved what was
an already awesome Madrid line-up. The former Manchester United FC player
immediately won over the fans at the Bernabéu with a debut goal against
RCD Mallorca in the Spanish Super Cup.
think he is one of the most complete players I have played
Ronaldo says he's been just as big a hit with his team-mates. "As a player
David has slotted into the team perfectly and quite sincerely I think he
is one of the most complete players I have played with," he said. "But
every player wants to push himself so I'm sure he will develop even
further during his time at Madrid."