Friday, February 06, 2009

Ronaldo now wants to defeat Mourinho's side

Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo is acting as the club’s very own ‘Mr. Motivator’ as he has attempted to fire up his side-mates ahead of the Champions League showdowns against Italian giants Inter.

The two sides lock horns in what promises to be the clash of the last 16 stage. Ronaldo tasted Champions League success last season as he shot his side towards glory, and the World Player of the Year is confident that the Red Devils can hold onto their European crown.

Inter will not make life simple for United. Jose Mourinho, the team boss of the Italian club, would love nothing more than to send his old adversaries crashing out of the competition. Nevertheless, Ronaldo insists his side have what it takes to beat the Nerazzurri and silence Mourinho.

"We will be tested to our maximum against Inter," Ronaldo told Inside United.

"I always dreamed of earning this trophy [the European Cup]. I felt like a little child with his [new] toy at the time I touched it last season. It was a great feeling.

"We are a great side with great players."

Mourinho has already been spying on United ahead of the big encounters, the first of which takes place at the end of this month. Tickets for both legs have already sold out.

The Old Trafford side are favourites to eliminate the Italians, however, ‘The Special One' has experience of upsetting the English club.

John Arne Riise injuried: Roma will miss him for almost a month

Italian club AS Roma just learned that their left back John Arne Riise is expected to be out for three weeks. The talented player damaged his left knee ligaments.

The Norwegian international picked up the injury during the 2-1 victory over Palermo on January 28.

Tests were carried out on the left sided former Liverpool defender which ascertained that he would not need an operation.

Riise is now a doubt for the first leg Champions League clash with Arsenal on February 24, 2009.

Steven Gerard: I hope i can make it for the derby with Madrid

Liverpool's deadline day sale of Robbie Keane has contributed to them heading into the Champions League knock-out stage with a squad two players short of the full complement, and Steven Gerrard's hamstring tear threatens to leave them further depleted for the visit to Real Madrid later this month.

In fact, UEFA allows a squad of 25 and though Sami Hyypia's name appears on the list Liverpool had to submit by 1 February – contrary to manager Rafael Benitez's suggestions last week that the defender was excluded – Jermaine Pennant, now on loan at Portsmouth, and Philippe Degen have been removed and Keane, nominally still on the list at the time Liverpool submitted it, is gone, leaving a squad of just 23.

Liverpool are not the only side below full potential. Chelsea have a squad of 21, Uefa revealed, with a further five on their B-list thought to be youngsters yet to break into Chelsea's senior ranks. B-list players must be under 22 and the four names on Liverpool's are the goalkeepers Dean Bouzanis and Martin Hansen, the midfielder Ryan Flynn, on loan at Wrexham, and the forward Nathan Ecclestone.