Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ronaldo positivity ´contagious´ as he closes in on another record

SoccerNews in La Liga 18 Nov 2016

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Cristiano Ronaldo is two goals away from equalling the Real Madrid record for goals against local rivals Atletico Madrid, and Zinedine Zidane believes his side can feed of the Portugal international’s “positive energy”.

Club legends Alfredo Di Stefano and Santiago Bernabeu currently head the derby scoring charts with 17 goals apiece, but Ronaldo is closing in with his 15 in 25 appearances.

Ronaldo is enduring a relatively lean season by his high standards, scoring seven goals in 12 outings in all competitions so far this term.

However, he heads into Saturday’s derby at the Vicente Calderon on the back of two goals in Portugal’s 4-1 victory over Latvia on Sunday and will have added motivation to find the net.

That said, he has not scored in the last six meetings between the sides.

“Ronaldo always wants more,” Zidane told a news conference. “There’s no anxiety there.

“It’s contagious, his positive energy. I want Ronaldo to always be that prepared.”

Madrid failed to register a league victory over Atleti last season, held 1-1 at the Calderon before being beaten 1-0 at home in their two LaLiga meetings.

“We analyse our opponents and we try to find ways of getting in behind them, causing them problems,” added Zidane. “They know how we play and we expect a tough game, but it’s tough for both. 

“I think it’ll be a great game to take part in, to play. Defeats hurt, but I’m looking ahead to Saturday not back to that loss [last season].

“It’s another game. I don’t look at it as a test. It’s perfectly poised. Either team could win. It’s 50-50.

“I think it’s going to be intense from start to finish. We expect a tough game. We’re used to tough games but tomorrow will be even tougher.”

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