Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has wished his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo the best of luck for tonight’s Champions League final.
The Portugal international will feature in the final of Europe’s premier club competition for Real Madrid against their city-rivals Atletico Madrid at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.
Los Blancos will head into the contest as favourites, but they will be under immense pressure to deliver the goods. After all, it was back in 2002 when they last became the champions of Europe. Moreover, this is the first time since then that they have actually reached the final.
However, Atletico will be no easy pushovers. Under Diego Simeone, Los Rojiblancos have cultivated a winning mentality and have won La Liga for the first time since 1996 this season. The pressure will also be less on the 2012 Europa League winners, while Madrid will be expected to win.
Ronaldo will be expected to play the role of a talisman for Carlo Ancelotti’s side tonight, and Rooney has urged him to “risk everything” to clinch the trophy.
Back in 2008, the duo featured in the Champions League final for United against Chelsea. Ronaldo opened the scoring for the Red Devils at the Luzhniki Stadium on 26 minutes, but Frank Lampard restored parity on the stroke of half time. The match went all the way to penalties as it finished 1-1 after extra-time. United won the shootout 6-5, but Ronaldo actually failed to convert his spot kick.
Ronaldo helped United reach the final of the Champions League again in 2009, but could not guide them to success against Barcelona. But now the 29-year-old has the chance to make history with Madrid, and Rooney wants him to grab it with both hands.