Spanish Primera Liga

Pellegrini: Ronaldo unfazed by price tag

September 13, 2009

Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini does not believe Cristiano Ronaldo is feeling the pressure of his world-record price tag.

Ronaldo has found himself under the spotlight after struggling to hit top gear following his £80m move from Manchester United, and Madrid sporting director Jorge Valdano recently said he felt the FIFA World Player of the Year was "somewhat nervous" about proving his worth.

However, Pellegrini is not of the same belief, saying after last night's 3-0 victory over Espanyol in which Ronaldo came off the bench to net his second goal in successive league games: "I don't think Ronaldo has a weight on his shoulders.

"I think that people are looking at him through a magnifying glass. The player is adapting to the league and to the team. I don't think he has any problems and he looks calm to me."

Regarding the victory over Espanyol, which saw Ronaldo and Guti add late goals to Esteban Granero's first-half opener, Pellegrini felt his side were well worth the points.

"The first half was very even, even though we managed to score and had other opportunities," he said. "Then, in the second half we had more chances and we scored a couple of goals. I think that we are just winners. Madrid deserved the win and by more than just a one-goal difference."

Meanwhile, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was a happy man after seeing his team claim a hard-fought victory over a Getafe side he holds in very high regard.

Barca made it two wins out of two at the start of the new season after second-half goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi earned them a 2-0 triumph at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

It was far from easy for the treble winners though, especially in the opening period when Getafe can consider themselves unfortunate not to have been at least one goal ahead.

"We've beaten a good opponent, at a ground that is always tough," Guardiola said. "Getafe are the team who have contested possession the best against us since I've been coach of the first team, and that says a lot about this side.

"The rest of the teams will find it difficult at this ground. They have good players, who pass the ball very well. That's why we are going away very happy."

With one eye no doubt on this week's Champions League trip to Italy to take on Inter Milan, Guardiola opted to use a number of fringe players at the start of the match and left the likes of Messi, Dani Alves, Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta on the bench.

Getafe almost took advantage, twice hitting the woodwork in the opening half-hour through Juan Albin and Roberto Soldado.

Guardiola admitted: "If Getafe had gone ahead, with the momentum that would have brought, then it could have been different. We were lucky to get to the break on level terms. In the second we were better."

He added: "The games that you play after an international break are always very difficult."