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Roura wary of Ronaldo threat

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura says his team always finds it difficult to defend against Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Tito Vilanova’s side travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday for the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Real.

Roura has warned his players there is no easy solution to stopping Jose Mourinho’s men, and highlighted the danger of their number seven in particular.

“We know about Cristiano’s qualities, but it’s always difficult to stop him,” the coach told reporters on Tuesday. “We have to be concentrated. There is no magic wand.

“Cristiano is a great, great player. It’s understandable he is scoring goals against us now when before he wasn’t.”

Barcelona are 15 points ahead of third-placed Real Madrid in La Liga, but Vilanova’s assistant insisted the Copa del Rey is a completely different proposition.

“I understand people commenting on how well we are playing,” Roura said. “But they will be very dangerous. We are playing in Madrid against Real Madrid and that’s always difficult.

“In the league we are in a comfortable situation. We have earned that. This is a different competition and we have to try and achieve a positive result there (in Madrid).

“With the squad they have, I don’t think Madrid will be conditioned by the players they have missing. I expect an intense and complicated Madrid. I don’t think it will be any different than it normally is. They are super competitive.”

Tue 29 Jan, 2013
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