Ronaldo: Viva España
Cristiano Ronaldo believes the Spanish top flight will leave its English counterpart trailing in terms of quality next season following Real Madrid's massive summer spending spree. Madrid have taken the transfer market by storm over the last month and are close to smashing the £200m mark on signings after agreeing deals for Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Raul Albiol.
More big-name arrivals are believed to be in the pipeline as well, as returning Madrid president Florentino Perez emphatically sets about fulfilling his election promise of a "spectacular sporting project" to get the Spanish giants back to the top after a number of years of underachievement, most notably in Europe. The captures of Ronaldo and Kaka, the last two winners of the FIFA World Player of the Year awards, plus that of the much-coveted Lyon striker Benzema suggests Madrid should be a force to be reckoned with again next year, and according to Ronaldo, means La Liga will be a cut above the Barclays Premier League.
"The Premier League is a very good competition, but I think that the Spanish league is going to have a little more quality because of the players that are arriving," said Ronaldo, who spent six hugely successful years in England with Manchester United before his world-record £80m switch to Madrid this summer.
"Both leagues are going to be very good, but I think that with Florentino Perez's signings the Spanish league is superior to the English.
"It's going to be a magnificent competition in Spain this year," he said. "All the players have a lot of quality."
Much is expected of big-spending Madrid next season as they look to hit back from a disappointing 2008/09 campaign, which not only involved them finishing empty-handed, but also ended up with arch rivals Barcelona walking off with an unprecedented treble. Madrid were also left red-faced once again in the UEFA Champions League, falling at the last-16 stage for the fifth successive year after being humbled 5-0 on aggregate by Liverpool. The nine-times European champions will be desperate for a much better showing next year, especially with the final being held at the Bernabeu, and Ronaldo believes they will be amongst the favourites.
"To win the Champions League in our stadium would be a great dream. I think it's possible with all the players we have," said the Portugal international.
"[However], you need to recognise that the champions, Barça, had a great season and played very well. They have a great team and a magnificent coach.
"It's going to be a very important duel for Spanish and European football and very nice for all of us," said Ronaldo. "I think it will be a great season."
Ronaldo played down talk of repeating Barça's treble-winning achievement, though: "We are going to take it step by step. The priority is the league. The Champions League is very nice, but it also depends on luck and the ties that you get.
"It's going to be difficult mission to get the double, although I think we are going to do well in both," he said.
"We know that we must work very seriously to achieve our objectives and I think that we are going to do very well."
The 24-year-old, who will be officially presented as a Madrid player tomorrow night, added: "My hope is to win at Real Madrid everything that I won during my time at Manchester United. With the structure Real Madrid have, this is possible.
"Now we need to work hard and do things well and to achieve the objectives," he said.
"The new players that have arrived must fit in well with those already here so that all together we can win many things at Madrid and make the club a little more great still."