Cristiano Ronaldo said it would be “damn great” to win a fifth career Champions League medal if Real Madrid beat Liverpool in Saturday’s final in Kiev, Ukraine.
Ronaldo won his first Champions League with Manchester United in 2008, adding three more as Madrid lifted the trophy in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
“It would be an historic moment,” he told Real Madrid TV on Tuesday. “We are excited — the whole team. We do not realise completely the history we are making, and maybe that is best so people remain focused on the game.
“Later, if all goes well, we will go down in history. I am confident, feeling good, and my teammates [are] too. To win a fifth would be damn great.”
Paco Gento, a Madrid winger in the 1950s and 1960s, is the only player to have won the European Cup six times.
If Madrid beat Liverpool, Ronaldo would join a list of nine players who won the cup five times — seven of whom are fellow Madrid players from the late 1950s, among them legends Alfredo Di Stefano and Hector Rial.
“Finals are always special,” Ronaldo said. “I’d prefer if it had been Manchester United. You have to respect Liverpool a lot. I don’t believe it will be any easier. They deserve to be there. They remind me of Madrid three or four years ago. The three up front — very fast, powerful, I respect that.
“But Madrid are the best. We must be at our level while respecting the opponent.”
Ronaldo, who has scored 15 goals in 12 Champions League games this season, said it was difficult to pick his best moment in the competition so far.
“The Champions League is special,” he said. “I love this competition. We always have great moments. They are all big games.
“PSG, Juventus … You must play against the best. You want me to say my best moment was the bicycle kick [at Juve], but at this club, there are always special moments.
“Don’t forget, I scored in all the group games. Last year, the same, when I scored three goals. … Something always happens in this competition.”
Ronaldo’s teammate Gareth Bale, whose role in the Saturday final is uncertain depending on Zinedine Zidane’s team selection, told Realmadrid.com that the team was hungry for another title win despite having won two in a row and three of the last four.
Bale said: “We know this is no mean feat, we’re up against a determined side.
“I think I’m on fine form physically: I have scored over the last few weeks. I came to this great club to win titles and it is going to be a special day.
“I never imagined playing in so many finals. I have played in three and this could be a fourth win, it has blown any expectations I had out of the water”.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan