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Ronaldo threatens Tenerife in Spanish league

Ronaldo threatens Tenerife in Spanish league

Promoted Tenerife will need to watch out for Cristiano Ronaldo as soon as its Spanish league game at Real Madrid kicks off Saturday.
At the very start of Madrid's past two games against Xerez and Villarreal, Ronaldo set off and put his team in front before some spectators had even taken their seats.
The quick goals have helped to make Ronaldo a resounding success at Madrid since his record ⁈lion ($139 million) move from Manchester United in the offseason. The world player of the year has scored in all four of Madrid's league games _ with two coming against Xerez _ and he is the league's leading scorer with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Valencia's David Villa with five goals. Ronaldo also scored twice for Madrid in his first match in the Champions League.
"Things are turning out well for me, especially in the opening minutes," the Portuguese winger was quoted as saying by sports daily Marca. "I'm happy and I feel good but what's most important is to help and keep winning."
Ronaldo's goals have helped Madrid make a perfect start to the season. The team is level with Barcelona, both with 12 points and with the same goal difference. The powerhouses are only separated because Barcelona's goal tally, at 14, is one more than Madrid's.
While Tenerife has never won in 12 previous league visits to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid could be forgiven for still having nightmares about the Canary Island club.
Tenerife, which was coached at the time by Madrid director general Jorge Valdano, defeated Madrid in the final league games of the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons to deny it the title and leave Barcelona as champion.
Tenerife goes into Saturday's match with its morale lifted by beating Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday and ending the Basque team's winning start to the season.
Meanwhile, Madrid could be boosted in defense on Saturday by Pepe, who has ended his 10-game suspension for his attack on two Getafe players last season. The Portugal international could replace injured defender Christoph Metzelder. Midfielder Xabi Alonso and striker Ruud van Nistelrooy are sidelined, too.
Defending champion Barcelona also bids to make it 15 points out of 15 on Saturday when it plays at 16th-place Malaga.
Barcelona, which became the first Spanish team to win the treble of league, Copa del Rey and Champions League last season, has followed up the feat by making its best start since the 1997-98 season.
However, Barcelona's attacking prowess may be affected on Saturday as striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is doubtful after spraining his right ankle during the team's 4-1 win at Racing Santander on Wednesday.
The Sweden striker, who arrived from Inter Milan for ⁈lion ($96 million) in July, is the first signing in Barcelona's history to score in each of his opening four league games.
Barcelona and Madrid are followed by Sevilla and Bilbao with nine points, two more than Mallorca and Valencia.
The quartet of Spanish teams involved in the Champions League are all in action on Saturday, with Sevilla visiting Bilbao and troubled Atletico Madrid traveling to Valencia.
Sevilla is buoyant after recovering from an opening-day defeat to win three straight league games as well as its first Champions League group match.
Sevilla midfielder Didier Zokora, who arrived from Tottenham in the offseason, does not rule out his side's title chances.
"We have to bear in mind that Barcelona is the top team, then it's Real Madrid and then Sevilla," Zokora said. "That doesn't mean that Sevilla doesn't have a chance because we have a battling team and can do well both in the league and the Champions League."
Atletico's morale is sinking fast, having been unable to win so far this season and with coach Abel Resino in the firing line.
Atletico followed up a 5-2 loss at Barcelona last Saturday with a 2-2 home draw with modest Almeria four days later, leaving it in 19th place. Another setback at Mestalla Stadium may see Resino axed after less than eight months in charge.
"I'm calm and working well," Resino said. "It's true that the results have not been what we want and I'm trying to find solutions. The biggest problem is one of confidence as a consequence of not getting the right results."
Valencia will be keen to atone for its 3-1 loss at Getafe on Wednesday, the team's first of the season.
Last-place Xerez visits Espanyol on Sunday, hoping to improve on a dismal start to its first season in the top flight. The Andalusian team has failed to gain a point or even score a goal.
Also Sunday, it's: Deportivo La Coruna vs. Villarreal; Mallorca vs. Valladolid; Osasuna vs. Sporting Gijon; Zaragoza vs. Getafe; and Almeria vs. Racing Santander


Updated : 2021-10-19 03:31 GMT+08:00