Former Manchester United favourite Gary Neville has warned of the danger posed by his old teammate Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the Reds’ Champions League showdown with Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has scored 182 goals in 179 appearances for Los Blancos since swapping Manchester for Madrid in the summer of 2009 and is bang in form having scored a second hat-trick in three games against Sevilla at the weekend.
With this in mind, Neville believes that United need to pay special attention to the Portuguese to ensure he isn’t given the opportunity to swing the tie decisively in favour of Jose Mourinho’s side.
Now a respected pundit and a coach under England boss Roy Hodgson, Neville has come up with his own blueprint for stopping Real Madrid’s star man.
“I think the only way you can stop Cristiano is to get players around him – and more than one,” he told bwin in an exclusive interview.
“Somebody’s got to get to him quickly. When the first challenge comes in you’ve got to make sure the second challenge, the third challenge is there behind because one-on-one, with him running at you at pace into the box, you really are in the lap of the Gods.”
Real Madrid are 3/5 (1.60) favourites to go through to the Champions League quarter-finals ahead of Wednesday’s first leg at the Bernabeu, with Manchester United at 5/4 (2.25) to reach the last eight. All our odds for the match can be viewed here.
But while bwin’s bookies have Los Blancos priced up as favourites, Neville believes the game is much harder to call.
“I don’t care whether you’re a pundit, I don’t care whether you’re a coach, I don’t care whether you’re a manager, I don’t care whether you’re a player in the dressing room who’s playing that game, you cannot call that match,” he commented.
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