Champions League news

Owen: United won't fear Ronaldo

February 11, 2013
By ESPN staff

Michael Owen is convinced Manchester United can shackle Cristiano Ronaldo and emerge victorious from their Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo completes his hat-trick in Real Madrid's 4-1 rout of Sevilla
GettyImagesSevilla must bounce back from their rout against Real Madrid

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In Ronaldo, Real have one of the finest talents in world football and he will head into the game against his former club in sizzling form following a hat-trick at the weekend.

There has been plenty of debate as to how United will combat the threat of Ronaldo, with a man-marking job one option available to Sir Alex Ferguson.

Owen, though, feels Ferguson will back his side to control the tempo of the contest and as good as Ronaldo is, the former United forward does not believe a man-to-man marking job will be deployed.

"I have never been managed by anyone that has got so much confidence and belief in his own team as Sir Alex Ferguson," Owen told Sky Sports News. "As much as he respects the opposition, he has so much confidence in his own team in how they attack and can score. I've never heard any team-talks from him saying we will man-to-man mark someone.

"Yes he (Ronaldo) is a potential danger, but they will be working more as a team in how they will stop him, doubling up in certain situations. But I would doubt they would man-to-man mark him."

Owen admits Ronaldo will be the premier player on show, but feels United may edge the contest as a team.

He said: "Ronaldo is the best player on the pitch, but United would have the second and third best players.

"If anyone is going to stop him it would have to be United who have had him on their books for many years and they will know his strengths and weaknesses.

"If anyone is going to stop him it is United, but on the flip side of that you have Rooney in form and Van Persie scoring freely. I think United could have the edge."