All eyes may have been on Cristiano Ronaldo in Real Madrid CF's 5-2 win over FC Zürich, but the two-goal winger dismissed any idea of being under pressure on his UEFA Champions League debut for the Liga giants.
Ronaldo was keen to stress that what counted most at the Letzigrund on Tuesday night was the nine-time European champions starting their Group C campaign with all three points. "The goals come when they come. I don't put any pressure on myself," said Ronaldo, who found the net with a free-kick in each half. "I knew that things would work out for me eventually, and they did. The most important thing was to win. The team played well: to score five goals in an away game is not easy and for that I am happy."
Ronaldo, a UEFA Champions League winner with Manchester United in 2008, also paid tribute to the continued scoring exploits in Europe of Madrid captain Raúl González. His 34th-minute strike, as Madrid galloped into a 3-0 lead at the break, took the 32-year-old to 65 goals in 124 appearances in Europe’s top club competition. "It's fantastic for him; he's a fantastic player," Ronaldo said. "He's had a great career and I'm happy for him."
The only black clouds on the night for the Spanish side were the two goals conceded in as many minutes midway through the second half, which brought the hosts back to just 3-2 down. "Maybe we relaxed a bit too much when we came out for the second half and that allowed Zürich back in," Ronaldo admitted. "You can't do that in football today. But then we scored two more goals, and it was alright in the end."
Kaká, also appearing in his first UEFA Champions League game for Madrid, shared Ronaldo's view of a game which looked at one stage as if it was slipping away from Manuel Pellegrini's men. "To start the Champions League with a victory was important, despite everything that happened in the game," said the former AC Milan playmaker. "This match will serve as an example of how things should not happen – the two goals we conceded are things we have to correct. In the Champions League, you cannot make those sorts of mistakes."
However, he also expressed his satisfaction with the group of players he joined in the off-season and saw bright things ahead for a side that has started with two Liga wins from two games. "The team has many things to improve, but we are on the right track," Kaká said. "My understanding with Ronaldo is getting better, as it is with Raúl and the other players. We're all getting stronger." Given who else his team will face in the section, the inevitable question was about his desire to silence his old San Siro crowd. Removing any doubts, the Brazilian said: "I want to win in Milan. And I also want to win in Marseille. The most important thing is that we finish first in this group."
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.