Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo says he and his team-mates are motivated to win this year's UEFA Champions League, acknowledging their La Liga campaign is "complicated" while revealing his dream goal is to dribble all 11 players of the opposing team before scoring.
Speaking at a promotional event, the Portugal international was asked about his scoring form and spoke of his desire to do well in Europe. Per AS, he said:
This is a result of years of hard work and dedication. I want to keep the momentum despite things being complicated in the league campaign. We're still in the Champions League and that’s a competition that motivates everyone connected with the club, especially as no-one has won as many European Cup titles as we have. So all is not lost.
When asked about his dream goal, he admitted it's unlikely he'll ever manage to dribble the entire opposing team:
Talent means nothing without hard work. I want to keep up my momentum and be able to win trophies for the team as well as individual prizes so that my fans can be happy. ...
I've scored some decent goals in my career. Maybe dribbling by the 11 players in the other team and scoring would be the ultimate goal, that however is more of a Play Station goal though.
Los Blancos enter the second leg of their Champions League tie against AS Roma leading by two goals and seem destined to advance to the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition.
The Champions League will provide Real with their best―and perhaps only―opportunity to win silverware in 2016, as the Spanish title race already appears over. Barcelona lead the domestic standings by five points with a match in hand, while Los Blancos sit in third place, nine points behind the Catalans.
BBC Sport's Andy West doesn't believe in Real's form:
Andy West @andywest01
Question now at top of La Liga isn't whether Real Madrid will catch Barça or Atleti. It's whether Villarreal will catch Real Madrid.2016-2-28 22:06:13
Former professional footballer Jimmy Conrad had similar ideas:
Jimmy Conrad @JimmyConrad
GIF as Metaphor Real Madrid is the runner and the bar is the La Liga title. https://t.co/NqrTymp35E2016-2-27 16:15:06
The 1-0 derby loss against Atletico Madrid was a big blow for Real, who have to start looking over their shoulder at in-form Villarreal. The two teams will meet on Matchday 34, and if the Yellow Submarine can keep their strong run going, that match could define the season of both clubs.
But the setback in La Liga may have been a blessing in disguise. The nine-point gap with Barcelona is unlikely to be bridged, allowing manager Zinedine Zidane to turn his full attention to the Champions League.
As shared by the competition's official Twitter account, no club has found more success in Europe than Los Blancos:
Champions League @ChampionsLeague
All-time #UCL record Real Madrid 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 AC Milan 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 Bayern 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 Barcelona🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 Liverpool 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 Ajax 🏆🏆🏆🏆 https://t.co/wGkJSMQtyF2016-3-1 12:44:45
Ronaldo has lifted the trophy once with his current club and twice in his career, winning it with Manchester United in 2008. Adding a third title to his resume would be a fantastic accomplishment as well as ease the pain of what has been a disappointing La Liga campaign.
Per WhoScored.com, he currently sits in second place in the top scorer's rankings behind Luis Suarez, and Ronaldo's individual form has been solid all season long. Most of his goals have come against La Liga's smaller teams, however, something Jerome Pugmire of the Associated Press has noticed as well:
Jerome Pugmire @jeromepugmire
So now Ronaldo's blaming his teammates for another underwhelming team performance. Has he even checked his record in big games this season?2016-2-27 23:27:15
But he's been lights-out in the Champions League, showing he can still shine on the biggest stage of them all, and if he can keep his fantastic scoring record in that competition going, Real will have a great chance of winning the Old Big Ears.
They'll first have to get past the Giallorossi, but with two away goals under their belt, that shouldn't be much of a problem when the two teams meet at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 8.