UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Jorge Jesus explains how they will stop Cristiano Ronaldo
Sporting CP are all set to take on Real Madrid in their Champions League group stage match on the 23rd of November. The Madrid outfit will be flowing with confidence, after a confident victory against Atletico Madrid put them 4 points ahead on top of the Spanish table.
The game saw an almost complete individual performance from Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, as he bagged a hat-trick in preparation for the return of the Champions League. Jorge Jesus meanwhile, has sat up and stated that it will be quite a task to stop Ronaldo.
The Sporting Lisbon manager is very well aware of the dangers the former Sporting player poses to his team, who go into the match hoping to reverse the result that occurred last time around. When Sporting last visited Santiago Bernabeu, they seemed to have wrapped the tie up after a second half goal from Bruno Cesar.
The defending champions looked like they were all ready to give up until Cristiano Ronaldo scored a spectacular free-kick in the 89th minute. Alvaro Morata then added another one in the 94th minute and sealed all three points. Sporting were absolutely devasted by the result but had little to complain about after letting Real Madrid back into the game.
Speaking to Marca, Jorge Jesus believes that there indeed are ways to stop the goal-scoring machine that is Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Ronaldo was born to score goals, he is the striker who scores the most goals in the world. But yes, there are ways to stop someone of his talent. The key is that it has to be done with the help of all of the players. Of course, you can prepare for it because when we don't want a player to have any space, we ensure it individually and collectively, as we did in Madrid."
As the Sporting manager prepares for the fixture this time around, he expects no surprises.
"It won't be any different this time. Madrid will no longer be surprised at us, we can't invent anything new. We know each other now and maybe it will be easier for them from the point of view that they will understand that we are not a team to be underestimated. We are focused, strong and very concentrated,” he said.
With Cristiano Ronaldo slowly approaching his best form, there is a lot of homework to be done by the Sporting management as they prepare for the prodigal son’s European homecoming. Dortmund, meanwhile, sit on top of Group F with 10 points and are set to face Legia Warsaw who are bottom of the table.
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