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Horncastle: Totti thriving at 40

Italian Serie A

Ronaldo: Madrid will win a trophy

Cristiano Ronaldo is in a confident mood heading into the upcoming quartet of clasicos with Barcelona, stating his belief Real Madrid will win a trophy this season.

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Madrid host Barca in the Primera Division on Saturday and the Spanish superpowers meet again in the Copa del Rey final next Wednesday before doing battle twice more in the Champions League semi-finals - all four games coming in the space of 18 days.

Barca have held the upper hand in recent clashes between the two, winning each of the last five meetings, while the Catalan giants have also left their counterparts from the capital lagging well behind in the race for honours over the last few years.

Madrid have not tasted success since 2008, when they won Primera Division and Spanish Super Cup, while in stark contrast Barca have walked off with a remarkable eight trophies since Pep Guardiola took charge in the summer of 2008.

Ronaldo, who joined Madrid for a world-record £80 million in 2009, hopes that lack of silverware is about to come to an end though, telling Real Madrid TV: "Real Madrid cannot go two years without winning a title. I'm convinced that we are going to win something this season and it's going to be very important. The players look very positive and that's a good sign, I like it a lot. There is the ideal atmosphere in the squad for this final straight.''

Madrid's hopes of wresting the Primera Division title off two-time defending champions Barca looks to be their least likely path to silverware this season, with Guardiola's men boasting a big advantage at the summit.

Barca are currently eight points clear of second-placed Madrid with seven games remaining, while they also won 5-0 in the first meeting between the two at Camp Nou.

That was Mourinho's heaviest-ever defeat as coach and something that would prove decisive if the two teams finish level on points and Madrid do not record an equally one-sided victory on Saturday.

Ronaldo, who has scored 40 goals in all competitions this season, said: "We have to win, we are playing at home and we have to put them under pressure. If we win the title race will be open, we cannot throw in the towel.

"After (this weekend), comes the Copa del Rey and the Champions League semi-finals. The important thing is to win and put Barcelona under pressure. If we win it's going to give us confidence for the cup.''

Both Barca and Madrid go into the first of the four clasicos in buoyant mood after progressing through to the last four of the Champions League in midweek.


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