Madrid director predicts special night for Ronaldo

Madrid director predicts special night for Ronaldo

Real Madrid director Emiliano Butragueno predicts a special night for Cristiano Ronaldo when he returns to Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League.

As a result of today’s draw in Nyon, the Portuguese striker will play at Old Trafford for the first time since moving to the Spanish capital for €98m in 2009.

Butragueno, Real Madrid’s director of institutional relations, believes it will be a special match for Ronaldo and the two managers, Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson.

He told “I am sure it will be a special game for him. I’m sure he’s going to do his best to help us qualify. It’s going to very, very special for him.

“It will be a thrilling experience for everyone. Manchester United are not only a great team but a great organisation known around the world.

“But we know it’s going to be tough. Sir Alex Ferguson has been there over 25 years and he’s a fantastic manager.

“He knows how to get the best out of his players and they have top players, but we are Real Madrid and we will try our best.

“I know the coaches have a great relationship. We are very happy with him (Mourinho) and I hope he’s going to lead the team to the Champions League to make our fans feel proud of the team.”

Ferguson told Manchester United’s official website: “Well, it’s the tie of the round.

“It’s a great opportunity for our fans to see Cristiano again and also for me to meet up with Jose again – I’ll need to order some good wine!”

AC Milan sporting director Umberto Gandini is looking forward to rekindling old rivalries as the Rossoneri were drawn against Spanish giants Barcelona.

Milan met the Catalans four times in last season’s competition, twice in the group stages with Barca taking four points, before the Rossoneri exited the quarter-finals courtesy of a 3-1 aggregate defeat.

Gandini told “Last season we faced them twice (the group stage and quarter-finals), this time only once fortunately. We are now used to playing in Catalonia.

“We face a perfect machine even if they had more problems than usual this season in the group stage. This is the highest hurdle we could face but if we manage to pass it we can go all the way.”

Barca coach Tito Vilanova was this morning having cancer treatment on his parotid gland before undergoing six weeks of chemotherapy.

Gandini said in support: “We are all very close to Tito Vilanova and his family and we wish him all the best for his surgery.

“We hope he will be on the bench against us.”

Fellow Italian side Juventus face a trip to Celtic, a prospect which filled club representative and former Bianconeri winger Pavel Nedved with fear.

“When I saw the draw I was scared,” the Czech told “It could have been much worse, though.

“We have to treat Celtic with the utmost respect. They were they only team to beat Barcelona and they deserved to qualify.

“For a lot of players this is a first Champions League experience and we have to be at our best for this challenge.”

Celtic boss Neil Lennon told Sky Sports News: “Well in terms of glamour it’s a beauty.

“Juventus are one of the great traditional European teams. They’re current Italian champions and finished the group stage very strongly.

“We will take it as it comes, we’re looking forward to the games now and I’m sure our supporters will be as well.”

Last season’s runners-up Bayern Munich will take on Arsenal, and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will meet an old friend in chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

He told “I think we enter this match as the slight favourites, but we can be making the mistake of underestimating them.

“But by no means will this be an easy game for us. I look forward to our game in London and back home in Munich.”

In the other matches German champions Borussia Dortmund face Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia play Paris St Germain, Porto encounter Spanish side Malaga and Galatasaray will come up against Schalke.

Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke told his club’s website: “It’s not really the opponents we wanted.

“It is a very, very difficult task, but we showed in the group stage that we can succeed against strong opponents.”

More in this Section

Jack Anderson: Nudging, not pushing, for change is Tom Ryan’s remitJack Anderson: Nudging, not pushing, for change is Tom Ryan’s remit

Mayo and Storm Dennis hold Waterford scoreless in second halfMayo and Storm Dennis hold Waterford scoreless in second half

Terrace Talk: Liverpool - We never win fairly, do we? You’ve got to laughTerrace Talk: Liverpool - We never win fairly, do we? You’ve got to laugh

Cavan storm past Laois to easy victoryCavan storm past Laois to easy victory


AS Joaquin Phoenix rose to the podium to collect his Academy Award for Best Actor, ears were peeled as the actor made his speech about inequality and our disconnect with the natural world.Paul McLauchlan: Leading men lead the way on Oscars red carpet

The new season blood oranges have arrived, they’ve been trickling into the shops ever since Christmas — such joy. I long for their delightful fresh taste after the rich food of the festive season.Darina Allen: Blood Oranges have a delightfully fresh taste after the rich food of winter

She’s the Cork singer dubbed the next Kate Bush, shortlisted by Universal, the world’s biggest record label, as their artist to watch in 2020. This will be the year of Lyra, writes Ed PowerLyra: Meet the new Kate Bush - and she's from Cork

For relationships to endure, we need to be loving not just on Valentine’s Day but all year round, a Buddhist teacher tells Marjorie BrennanOpen hearts: The Buddhist approach to love and loving

More From The Irish Examiner