Mancini Fears The CR7 Effect
20 November 2012
Talk about stating the obvious, but Roberto Mancini says Manchester City will need to shackle Cristiano Ronaldo, or they will go down to Real Madrid.
The English champions simply cannot afford to lose to their Spanish counterparts on Wednesday night, or their Champions League season will end with a group stage whimper yet again.
But in CR7, City will be coming up against a player who once scored goals for fun in Manchester, and who will take great joy in causing pain to his former team Manchester United’s closest rivals.
And so, apart from his own tactical plan to deprive Ronaldo of the ball, Mancini is hoping the Real ace has an off-night in the Etihad.
And the Italian is also keeping the emergency number on speed dial, in case he needs to “call the police” to deal with a rampant Ronaldo, who he believes should win the Ballon d’Or.
"I just hope he can have a bad night on Wednesday because, when you come up against a player who can score one or two goals every game, it is difficult," Mancini said.
"Ronaldo is a top player and he deserves to win the Ballon d'Or.
"He scored so many goals last year and that helped Real to finish above Barcelona. I think that in a lot of games we play against top players, but Ronaldo is different because if you score one or two goals in every game, you need to pay attention.
"It's difficult for us because, at the moment, him and Messi are the best players in the world."
Meanwhile, with City all but dead and buried in the Champions League, striker Sergio Aguero is essentially praying for a miracle.
He never managed to beat Real Madrid as an Atletico Madrid player, and he is determined to rectify that statistic with City, and boost their unlikely chance of survival.
"Never defeating Real when I was with Atletico was a real regret for me - Atletico haven't succeeded in beating them for many years - but I did get to score against them even if we never managed a win,” Aguero told City’s website.
"Wednesday night will hopefully break that run for me."
"We should never give up," the Argentine added.
"Where there's a will, there's a way, right?
"Of course, it's harder now because we're not just relying on ourselves but also on the other teams' results.
"What we mustn't do is leave the pitch with any regrets and be content knowing that we have given our all. This club deserves nothing less and our supporters deserve as much, too."