CRISTIANO RONALDO FEELS that Barcelona’s dominance is over after they were dethroned as La Liga champions by Real Madrid this season
The Catalans dominated Spanish and European football in recent years, but Real star Ronaldo is adamant that his side are now the dominant force after their successful 2011/12 campaign.
“I think that the cycle has already changed. We beat Barcelona at home, which isn’t easy, but we managed to do it. We also ended nine points clear of them in the table, and that’s a big lead,” Ronaldo said.
“So I think the cycle has changed, and I hope that the situation will stay like this for many years. Barcelona are a magnificent team, but so are we. We have shown this year that we are the better team at the moment.”
Ronaldo also took the time to praise outgoing Barca coach Pep Guardiola for his work at the Camp Nou.
“He has done a great job and has won many titles. He built a great team. You have to appreciate what he did and I wish him all the best,” Ronaldo said. The attacker then went on to discuss the Ballon d’Or, and admitted that he is very happy with his performances in the recent campaign but refused to declare himself a favourite to claim the accolade.
“I’m not the one who decides whether I deserve the Ballon d’Or. I think I’ve had a fantastic season, where I’ve won an important title like La Liga, which is very hard to win,” he said.
“We’ll have to wait and see, though. I’m focused on Euro 2012 now. I want to do well there. That will help my bid for the Ballon d’Or, too. Individually, my season has been a perfect 10. Collectively, it’s been a nine as we could have won more titles, like the Champions League for example.
“My goal is to do even better next year. I know that it will be very difficult to score more than 46 goals in La Liga, but anything can happen in football. I really believe that I can still improve. I know that it’s hard because of all the records that we beat, but you never know.”
The Portuguese also reiterated that he should not be compared to Lionel Messi, as he feels he is a different player to the Barcelona star.
“I always try to improve and become a better player, but it’s not a competition with Messi. It’s something between all the teams and players. People always compare us, but it’s impossible. You can’t compare a Ferrari with a Porsche or a Mercedes.
“We are different players on different teams. He is a magnificent player, and we’re always fighting — in a good way — to score more goals. All players compete with other players. It’s a good thing.”
The 27-year-old attacker netted an impressive 46 goals in La Liga this term, while Messi found the net 50 times.