Ronaldo told to rock Liverpool's world

Updated: 22 March 2008 16:57 IST

This Sunday, Manchester United host Liverpool at Old Trafford while Chelsea meet Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.


Cristiano Ronaldo "has the world in front of him" according to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the veteran boss wants the Portugal winger to maintain his "fantastic" form against arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

Ronaldo took his tally for the season to 33 goals and in the process broke United legend George Best's club record for most goals in a single campaign by a winger by netting twice in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Bolton.

That victory left champions United three points clear at the top of the table from Arsenal and 11 in front of fourth-placed Liverpool ahead of tomorrow's showdown at Old Trafford with their fellow Champions League quarter-finalists.

"His form is absolutely fantastic, there is no end to where we think he can go," an admiring Ferguson said of Ronaldo. "He has got the world in front of him," the Scot added.

"His tenacity to keep getting the ball and courage to keep it up all the time is terrific.

"I want the boy to continue doing what he is doing and hopefully it'll be a successful season for the team."

United, forced to play second fiddle to Liverpool during the 1970s and 80s, have dropped just one point in seven Premier League meetings with the Merseysiders since Rafael Benitez took charge at Anfield.

Indeed the only time Liverpool have scored against United in the league since the Spaniard replaced Gerard Houllier three years ago was John O'Shea's own-goal in the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford in 2004.

But Ferguson played down any talk of a psychological advantage over Liverpool. "We've developed as a team and these situations, when you've got a good team, you're confident against most teams.

"You don't win every game obviously, that's a matter of fact, and we've lost four league games this season already and an FA Cup tie (against Portsmouth), all by the odd goal.

"The Liverpool game also brings out a certain anticipation in players and we've got plenty of players with experience of playing against Liverpool, like (Paul) Scholes, (Ryan) Giggs, and (Rio) Ferdinand.

"It's always a fantastic, engrossing game against Liverpool. You can't avoid the intensity of it, the tension of it, the atmosphere.

"It's a game that players always want to play in so there will be some disappointed players who aren't playing."

Ferguson said Ferdinand, who has missed the last two games with a back problem, is a major doubt for the game.

But Louis Saha should overcome a knock and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is set to return after a groin injury.

Daniel Agger, who is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury, is Benitez's only absentee for a game that has been billed as a showdown between Fernando Torres and Ronaldo.

Benitez was adamant he would not swap Torres, who has managed 27 goals in his first campaign in English football, for Ronaldo.

"They are both really good players and it is very good for the supporters to see them play because they must enjoy watching them," Benitez said. "But Torres is our player so I would not want to change him."

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso believes the trip to Old Trafford can be the catalyst to a fine finish to the season for the Reds.

After the short trip to Manchester, Liverpool face Everton in the league followed by a Premier League game against Arsenal that comes in the middle of the two legs of their Champions League quarter-final against the Gunners.

"Now we are entering the decisive moments of the season. To be champions is difficult but not impossible. We are developing a sensational run and we have not given up on anything.

"Our objective is to go to Manchester and win and it would not surprise me if we did. We are playing our best football of the season."

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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