El Clasico: Real Madrid can deliver under pressure against Barcelona says Fernando Morientes

Despite Madrid trailing Barcelona by 11 points in the league, Morientes still thinks that Real Madrid can retain the title.

FP Sports December 22, 2017 21:07:53 IST
El Clasico: Real Madrid can deliver under pressure against Barcelona says Fernando Morientes

Former Real Madrid and Spain player Fernando Morientes believes that his former club can deliver in their must-win El Clasico encounter against eternal rivals Barcelona. The La Liga champions are 11 points behind the Catalunyan giants in fourth place but Morientes thinks that playing at home will give Madrid an edge over Barcelona.

"Real Madrid have always been a club that copes well under pressure. They know what to expect and they've got a team capable of delivering the goods in difficult moments like this one. They're at home and I'm sure they'll fight to the end."

El Clasico Real Madrid can deliver under pressure against Barcelona says Fernando Morientes

Fernando Morientes won two La Liga and three Champions League titles during his time at Real Madrid.

The Los Blancos faced an injury scare with concerns over talisman Cristiano Ronaldo's fitness before the match but manager Zinedine Zidane refuted all claims and insisted that the five-time Ballon d'Or was "100 percent fit" for the crunch encounter.

Ronaldo has had a slow start to the season so far with the Portuguese captain scoring only four times in the league this season. In contrast, rival Lionel Messi leads the goalscoring chart in the league with the Barcelona man finding the back of the net 14 times.

However, Morientes believes that Ronaldo is a man for the big matches and backed the all-time Real Madrid top scorer to rise to the occasion on Saturday.

"Messi's stats are incredible, that's undeniable, but we also know that Ronaldo is a player who can be a difference-maker even during the most difficult of circumstances. Ronaldo rises to the occasion in high-stakes matches and he'll do everything in his power to play a pivotal role in this game. He could surprise a few people."

Despite Madrid trailing Barcelona by 11 points in the league, Morientes still thinks that Real Madrid can retain the title.

"The title race isn't over yet — there's still a long way to go and Real Madrid always battle to the end. They're not going to surrender their crown without a fight; they'll keep going until the very last match."

Morientes won the Champions League three times with Madrid, including Zidane. The Frenchman has led Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles while also guiding them to their first league title since 2011-12 and Morientes believes that his former teammate is the right man to lead the Los Merengues.

"Zidane has won the respect and admiration of all Real Madrid fans, and I think he's got plenty of life left in him yet and lots more to offer. I think Zidane has what it takes to live with the pressure and turn things around when the going gets tough – he showed that back when he was a player and has done so again as a coach."

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