Cristiano Ronaldo Right to Think Real Madrid Can Retain Champions League Crown

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2014

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Super Cup soccer match between Read Madrid and Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium in Wales Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Cristiano Ronaldo believes Real Madrid have what it takes to make history and become the first club to win back-to-back UEFA Champions League titles, and he is absolutely right to think so.

The Portuguese star was asked by reporters whether he believes Real could do the impossible, and he gave the only correct answer:

Madrid are going to be the first team.

I hope so. Maybe we have the potential to be the best but I believe the players that Real Madrid have bought this season - James, Kroos and Navas - are going to give more support to the team and more quality.

I'm very happy with the quality that we have in the squad, so it's fantastic and we are going to try and win all the trophies.

His words were misinterpreted by some on social media, who immediately started to comment about Ronaldo's perceived arrogance.

The winger was asked a simple question, and he gave a simple answer. He didn't make any bold claims—he just stated what he believed. Every single player playing for a top club in Europe believes his club can win the Champions League. As defending champions, naturally Ronaldo feels the same.

More importantly, the forward has every reason to like his team's chances. On paper, Los Blancos have more quality than any single team in world football, and their first competitive outing of the season against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup was impressive.

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Fans shouldn't get carried away with the result of that match. The UEFA Europa League winners lost their two top midfielders in Ivan Rakitic and Stephane Mbia, and Sevilla looked like a shadow of their former selves in Cardiff, Wales.

That match wasn't about the result or even the integration of new acquisitions like Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez.

Rather, it gave fans a glimpse of the potential of the new Real and how this team will look in two or three months.

Rodriguez looked uncomfortable on the ball at times and struggled with close marking. There was too much space between the back four and the midfield areas, and Real's finishing was far from perfect.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Big whoop. That's what the pre-season is for. This team is just starting to learn how to play together, and it will take time for it to reach its full potential. But based on some of the movements we saw against Sevilla, that potential looks very tantalising.

The speed at which Los Blancos moved the ball forward was at times blistering. Some of their movements were spectacular, and the partnership between Kroos and Luka Modric was surprisingly solid on the defensive end.

This interchange was beyond impressive, and even if it didn't result in a goal, it gave us a glimpse of what the future looks like for the club:

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe did an in-depth analysis of the game film, and he too tried to reserve judgment for now but thought the prospect of this team is "scary":

It was the most expensive team in the history of the game, and it'll get €10 million pricier if Keylor Navas manages to displace Iker Casillas at any point this season.

They looked rusty for 20 minutes and James, while tactically on-point, looked like a man who'd played an arduous World Cup and hadn't quite recovered.

This Real Madrid outfit are a scary prospect, built on domination in the final third and free movement. Will it come unstuck? Time will tell, but this attacking approach against Barcelona's new trio should make for epic, epic Clasicos.

Winning the Champions League is one of the toughest tasks in all of sports—winning it twice in a row is nearly impossible. No team has been able to do it since the tournament took on its current format, including Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.

Real Madrid have the talent to change that trend, and based on their first match of the season, they have the ability to translate that talent into results.

Ronaldo should absolutely believe his squad has what it takes to win the Champions League for a second consecutive year, and until someone defeats them, Real Madrid will be the favourites to lift the "Old Big Ears" once again.