Four seasons at the club have yielded one
solitary league title but Brazilian star Ronaldo is now being heralded
as Real Madrid's potential saviour after their Champions League loss to
"Ronnie to the rescue," was how sports daily AS on Friday saw the
significance of the World Cup-winning striker's return to training some
two months after a knee operation in his homeland.
"Ronaldo's return is a relief," said Marca sports daily as Real sought
to heal their wounds following their outclassing by the French champions
for the second year in a row.
"You were a disaster," was how coach Fabio Capello summed things up in
the dressing room after Wednesday's 2-0 defeat according to media
"We're saying sorry to the supporters. The problem is a mental one - we
didn't know how to play as a group," said Brazilian midfielder Emerson,
who was singled out with Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro as having
played particularly feebly.
Real "have talent but no group spirit," the club's former sporting
director Arrigo Sacchi told El Pais newspaper, which cited club sources
as having identified "physical and psychological" problems in the team.
AS said Ronaldo's return "opens new perspectives" for Capello, who can
now add him to an attack which has been led to date this season by new
signing Van Nistelrooy, who bagged a hattrick at Levante in the league
but who was powerless to produce a repeat against Lyon.
According to AS, Ronaldo is set to return in the October 1 local derby
against Atletico Madrid, or he may even be held back until the October
14 match against modest Getafe.
Ronaldo, whose three World Cup goals made him the tournament's all-time
leading scorer, netted just 14 times for Real last season, though he was
still top scorer.
He has promised to fire 30 this term.