Butragueno happy with Ronaldo
Schalke have dismissed fears they could suffer a hangover from
their derby success against Borussia Dortmund when they take on
Galatasaray for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals on
The Royal Blues go into the second leg with the advantage after
a 1-1 draw in Turkey, but on the back of a physically and
emotionally draining 2-1 win over Dortmund in which they also lost
striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to a knee injury.
The Holland frontman is out of the return leg but coach Jens
Keller claimed his side would be ready for the match.
He said: “The lads are physically very fit. I think they have
shown that impressively in recent weeks. And so if anyone should
feel tired, this feeling will evaporate at the latest when they
walk into the stadium and hear the Champions League anthem.
“We will of course take the positive feeling of the derby win
into this game. The euphoria and the way we played our football
against Borussia Dortmund and were supported by the fans was very
special and can definitely help us against Galatasaray.”
Finland international Teemu Pukki is an option to lead the line
in place of Huntelaar, who is facing several weeks on the
Jermaine Jones, who scored in the 1-1 draw in Turkey, is
suspended, so Marco Hoger is likely to continue in midfield, with
Atsuto Uchida at right-back.
Turkish Super Lig leaders Gala have had one more day to prepare
than their hosts, but suffered an embarrassing 1-0 home defeat to
Genclerbirligi in their last outing last Friday.
Gala boss Fatih Terim branded the defeat “unworthy of our club”
and demanded an immediate improvement.
“In the league you can make up for lost points, but in
continental competition weak performances are punished,” he was
quoted as saying by kicker.de. “On Tuesday we have to improve our
Didier Drogba is expected to return to the starting line-up
after he missed a penalty as a second-half substitute against
Felipe Melo should also start after being suspended against
Genclerbirligi, Wesley Sneijder should be involved and Emmanuel
Eboue is also pushing for a start, but Tomas Ujfalusi is out due to
Leon Clarke is a major doubt for the Sky Blues’ midweek home
The striker bagged his 21st goal of the season to seal
Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Scunthorpe, for whom he registered 11 of
those having spent the first half of the campaign on loan with the
Iron prior to his January switch to Coventry.
Clarke subsequently left Glanford Park wearing a protective boot
over his foot having taken a knock during the game and he will now
be assessed ahead of the match against the U’s.
Saturday’s success came in boss Steven Pressley’s first match at
the helm following his appointment 24 hours earlier and he can now
look forward to his first outing at the Ricoh Arena.
City have struggled for home form this season, winning just five
times compared to a club-record 11 on their travels, and Pressley
must reverse that trend if he is to have any chance of closing the
five-point gap on the play-off places.
Defenders Richard Wood (groin) and Blair Adams (knee) as well as
striker Stephen Elliott (knee) remain sidelined.
The visitors will be monitoring at least three players ahead of
Defender Tom Eastman picked up a knock early on in Saturday’s
2-1 home defeat to Crewe and was subsequently forced off in the
Meanwhile, left-back Bradley Garmston and striker Freddie Sears
(both knee) missed the game altogether and all three will be
assessed to determine whether they have any chance of being
One player definitely unavailable to boss Joe Dunne is striker
Jabo Ibehre as he serves the second game of his three-match
New boy Michael Smith, who arrived on loan from Charlton on
Friday, will be pushing for his full debut having impressed
following his introduction from the bench in place of David Wright
after just 34 minutes at the weekend due to tactical reasons.
Fellow loan signing Troy Hewitt is also striving to start having
made his debut for the U’s in the latter stages.
Ronaldo was clearly touched by the affection he received from
the Old Trafford faithful last week, which remained even after the
winger scored the goal that sent United crashing out of the
It merely heightened a feeling that has existed for some time
that the 28-year-old might be tempted by a return to Old Trafford,
so it was no surprise reports emerged that sportswear giants Nike –
who sponsor both United and Ronaldo – were working on a plan aimed
at coming up with the huge finance required to complete such an
United have not entirely distanced themselves from that
speculation, even if there seem to be doubts over whether Ronaldo
is interested in a move and he might be using his old club as a
negotiating tool over an extension to his current deal, which is
due to expire in 2015.
Certainly there is no hint from the Madrid end that they are
looking to off-load a player who took his goals tally to 26 in La
Liga alone on Saturday night when he bagged two more in Real’s
latest victory over Celta Vigo.
Speaking at a Manchester United Foundation event to launch a Red
Devils’ Legends match against Real Madrid on June 2, Butragueno,
now a Real director, offered no obvious reason for optimism about
United’s chances of getting the 2008 world player of the year
“Cristiano is under contract and we are very happy with him,” he
“We are delighted he is at Madrid because he is a fantastic
professional, and very ambitious in a positive way.
“His contribution to the team and the club has been amazing
since he arrived.
“We are very grateful he came to us and are lucky he plays for
Ronaldo has scored 38 goals in all competitions for Real this
He has found the net in 11 out of their last 18 games, scoring
19 in the process, and for Butragueno, a legendary striker himself,
watching Ronaldo perform at the peak of his powers is an
“He scores a goal a game on average. This is incredible,” he
“I have been watching football since I was three and never saw
anything like that.
“When Ronaldo is on the pitch, you know you are going to score.
It is an incredible advantage.”
United are hoping to match the crowd in excess of 60,000 that
Real attracted for the first fixture between the sides last
Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke have already pledged to play, whilst
it is also anticipated Denis Irwin and Lee Sharpe will turn out for
the Red Devils.
Some star names from Real’s illustrious past can also be
anticipated for the Old Trafford encounter, although given what
happened in the Champions League last week, it does not appear the
referee will be Turkish.
“Turkey doesn’t have any referees,” joked Bryan Robson.