Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid squad don’t need to be best friends off pitch: Ronaldo

ROME – Cristiano Ronaldo says he didn’t speak to some of his teammates at Man United, but thinks teammates relationship on the pitch matters.

Cristiano Ronaldo says it does not matter how well Real Madrid players get on off the pitch – as long as they are performing together on it. Much has been made of the camaraderie shown by Barcelona forwards Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, particularly following their penalty combination at the weekend.

In Madrid, conversely, it is often claimed that Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema do not share a similar friendship. However, at a news conference ahead of Madrid’s Champions League round-of-16 first leg with Roma on Wednesday, Ronaldo, 31, said players do not need to be best friends away from football.

“When I was at Manchester United, we won the Champions League and there were some players I would only say ‘hi’ to, like [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes or [Rio] Ferdinand,” Ronaldo said. “But the harmony on the pitch was great. “It’s not necessary to go out eating with Bale, what matters is when you are on the field. What happens off it doesn’t count, it matters that we are a team on it.”

With that in mind, the Portugal captain is confident about his side’s chances against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. “I’m feeling good and the team are good,” he said. “We’re working well, playing well and scoring lots of goals. Of course this is not the Primera Division, it’s the Champions League, but we’ve got a great desire to win. These are the most difficult games on paper, but we’re looking to win it.”

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