Cristiano Ronaldo October 2014

Since it replaced the European Champions Cup in 1992, no side has ever managed to retain the UEFA Champions League title. Many have come close but, ultimately, combining the extra matches involved in its mini-league system with domestic duties has proved too difficult.

However, following their emphatic victory at Anfield this week, talk has quickly turned to whether Real Madrid—a club whose history is intertwined with Europe’s greatest club competition—can finally become the first to buck the trend.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s response to the question on everyone’s lips, as per The Mail, was "Why not? We're going to try. We know it's going to be very tough, but we're very positive. It's possible if we play like that."

It is hard to argue with his statement.

Anfield had waited a long time to host a side of this calibre in the Champions League and like most high-profile games in the tournament, ticket availability was at a premium.

The hosts started brightly, but after 20 minutes Real Madrid started to click through the gears. So impressive were they in this period of the game that by halftime the match was over as a contest. Liverpool simply could not contain the Spaniards, who were missing Welshman Gareth Bale due to injury, and once the home side had regained some composure in the second half it was much too late.

“We controlled the first 15 minutes of the second half too, and the game was over,” Carlo Ancelotti told Sky Sports in an interview after the match.

The purple patch in the first half was kick-started by a sublime Ronaldo goal. The Portuguese maestro started the move in midfield and performed a one-two with James Rodriguez, the Colombian lifting a perfectly weighted pass in to Ronaldo’s path.

Under pressure from two desperate Liverpool defenders, Ronaldo still managed to volley the ball calmly past Simon Mignolet for his first ever goal at Anfield, drawing him to within one goal of Raul’s record haul of 71 Champions League goals.

Real Madrid never looked back from that moment and now sit proudly at the top of Group B with nine points and qualification for the knockout stages surely a mere formality.

There are still sides capable of stopping Real Madrid performing the feat of retaining the Champions League. Bayern Munich’s demolition of Roma was an incredible statement of intent, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid still pose a real threat and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea look increasingly difficult to beat.

However, the after-effects of finally winning La Decima last season are still evident. There is a spring in the step and there is a definite buzz around Real Madrid at the moment.

And with a certain Cristiano Ronaldo in the side, anything is possible.


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