Cristiano Ronaldo has issued a rallying call to Real Madrid supporters ahead of Tuesday’s crunch Champions League clash with Wolfsburg, urging them to play their part on what could be a ‘magical, perfect night’ at the Bernabeu.
Madrid must overturn a 2-0 deficit from last week’s first leg in Germany if they are to reach the semi-finals of the competition for a sixth successive season.
Recent history is against Madrid, with the Spanish giants having failed to recover from a first-leg away defeat on the last five occasions, but Ronaldo is confident it will be a different story this time.
First-half goals from Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximilian Arnold earned Wolfsburg a valuable lead in their first appearance in the last eight as Madrid were brought crashing back to earth following their impressive league win over Barcelona.
Madrid responded to the European setback with a 4-0 mauling over Eibar at the weekend, their seventh win in eight games and a result that helped them move back to within four points of stuttering leaders Barca.
Ronaldo says morale is high in the camp but knows they need everything to come together if they are to get past Wolfsburg and keep alive hopes of a record 11th European Cup.
‘The team have confidence, the coach has confidence and the fans have to have confidence as well,’ he added.
‘It has to be a perfect night. All the different aspects are important. The players have to run, fight and be intense throughout the 90 minutes. Also, we have to have cool heads, patience and be prepared to suffer.’
Midfielder Toni Kroos hopes his side can make a flying start, saying on Bwin.com: ‘It will be important to get the upper hand early on. We don’t want it to still be 0-0 at half-time.
‘We have to play attacking football, without doubt, but we have to play wisely.’
Wolfsburg are bracing themselves for a Madrid onslaught but forward Andre Schurrle believes the longer they can keep the game goalless the better it is likely to be for them.
‘It’s going to be a brutally hard game,’ said Schurrle, who has scored five of Wolfsburg’s last eight goals. ‘We’re going to have to run as if our lives depended on it.
‘Real are warned. The atmosphere’s going to be electric and if we can get to half-time with the score at 0-0 or with us in front, I know their fans are going to get unsettled.’
Wolfsburg warmed up for the trip to Spain with a 1-1 draw at home to Mainz on Saturday, a result which left them eighth in the Bundesliga, nine points adrift of the top four.