Van Nistelrooy: Duo key in CL

Ruud van Nistelrooy believes Manchester United's Champions League clash with Real Madrid could hinge on Robin van Persie and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Last Updated: 08/02/13 at 18:38 Post Comment

Ruud Van Nistelrooy: Played for both Manchester United and Real Madrid

Ruud Van Nistelrooy: Played for both Manchester United and Real Madrid

Van Nistelrooy, who spent five years at United before moving to Madrid in 2006 for a four-year spell at the Bernabeu, finds it impossible to pick a favourite between the two European superpowers and believes the last-16 tie will be settled by the "smallest details".

To that end he has singled out Red Devils' hitman Van Persie and Madrid's former United forward Ronaldo as the deciding factors.

"For me the difference will be the form of Cristiano and Van Persie. I think that one of these two players will make the difference," Van Nistelrooy told Marca.

"Both teams are doing very well. I think Madrid have improved a lot in recent weeks. Taking away the Granada game (1-0 loss) I see a strong team, who played very well against Barca and who show their best in the big games.

"I think the tie will be decided by the smallest details."

The 36-year-old Dutchman feels Madrid, who are looking for a record 10th European Cup crown, boast more quality than Sir Alex Ferguson's side but has warned the Spanish giants that United's "lethal" strikeforce of Van Persie and Wayne Rooney will take some stopping.

"I think they (Madrid) have more quality on the pitch. But United win and win every week. They trail 2-0 and fight back, they go 1-0 up and control the game.

"United are very much a team. They defend all together and then play for Van Persie and Rooney.

"Madrid, due to injuries, have not been able to create such a solid group and be able to repeat the same team every week.

"Pepe and Marcelo have been injured, (Gonzalo) Higuain and (Karim) Benzema haven't been doing well, (Angel) Di Maria doesn't always play...The injury to Iker (Casillas) doesn't help either because he's always there and very experienced.

"It will be a very interesting game."

Asked what Madrid need to fear, Van Nistelrooy said: "United don't need many chances to score. Give one to Van Persie and Rooney and it's going in. They don't miss. And the problem is that they always create something.

"They are a lethal pair."

The first leg takes place at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Transfer News: James Rodriguez undergoing medical in Madrid, ahead of Real move

Colombia star James Rodriguez is on the verge of completing a blockbuster £63million move to Real Madrid from Monaco.

Friendly: Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere score in Newcastle victory

Debutant Emmanuel Riviere was amongst the scorers as Newcastle cruised to an emotional 4-0 friendly win over Sydney FC.

Premier League: Cardiff captain Steven Caulker to have QPR medical

Cardiff defender Steven Caulker is having a medical with QPR, Sky sources understand.

Mail Box

Goodbye Patrice And Farewell Steven...

Man United fans say a fond farewell to Patrice Evra in the mailbox while there are also thoughts on Steven Gerrard's retirement from England duty. Plus, some rare cricket bantz...

Defending Spurs' Transfer Spending...

Liverpool have been accused of 'doing a Spurs' this summer, but one Spurs fan argues that the club's business last year shouldn't be viewed in a negative light...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property