Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil says Cristiano Ronaldo has all the skills needed to make the difference in the first leg of Los Blancos’ Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona this evening.
Watch the video of our exclusive interview with Ozil ahead of this evening’s El Clasico here:
Ronaldo has scored in each of the last six matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona, a run of form which no other player has managed in the history of the fixture.
He even managed a brace in one of those matches, taking his tally in the last six El Clasicos to seven goals.
But while Ozil says the team is conscious of the “power” CR7 has to influence huge matches, he stresses that the other players in the team can’t afford to simply relax and hope Ronaldo does the job for them.
“We know the power that Cristiano Ronaldo has,” the German playmaker told bwin.
“He is one of the best players in the world and over the past few years has shown how important he is to this team. But in the end, it’s all about the team, not Cristiano or another player. Naturally we know his strong points, we need him, but we have to function as a team to have success.”
Barcelona are evens (2.0) favourites to establish a fist-leg lead at the Bernabeu tonight, with the draw at 37/20 (3.85) and a Real Madrid success at 3.20 (11/5).
Meanwhile, Ronaldo is priced at 7/10 (1.70) to grab a goal in a seventh consecutive El Clasico and at 7/2 (4.50) to opening the scoring.
However, whatever happens Ozil reckons it will be a good game.
“It’s the best derby in the world and naturally everyone follows it,” he commented.
“It’s always something special for us. The players want to prove ourselves and be at our best.”
To read a full preview of Real Madrid v Barcelona click here.