Luis Figo believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s return from a five-match ban can help kick-start Real Madrid‘s season.
After seven games, the defending champions are fifth in La Liga, seven points behind their rivals Barcelona.
Ronaldo has served his five-match suspension after pushing the referee in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup in August and Figo feels his return can get Madrid’s season back on track.
“Of course, he’s a very important player for the team,” Figo told Omnisport.
“He was out five games and the team missed his goals and his contribution.
“Now everything is settled and I think the team is going for the goals they had in the beginning of the season.
“They started well, they won two competitions (the Supercopa and UEFA Super Cup) and now in the league they’re trying to come back from some draws and (recover) some points to Barcelona.
“The season is long, to win the league you have to be really consistent.
“Of course, all the teams have their ups and downs and I’m looking forward to seeing Madrid in the top (places).”
Luka Modric is one of the best central midfielders in the world. He’s won everything in club football at Real Madrid and is an iconic figure for Croatian football.
However, the diminutive playmaker’s path to football stardom has been long. And as is the case with most heroes, his origin story stems from adversity.
Forced to flee his home at the age of six, Modric honed his skills in a parking lot of a hotel where he lived with his family as refugees.
His rise to the top has been an inspiration and the video above charts his journey.
Cristiano Ronaldo invited former teammate Rio Ferdinand to his home in Madrid lat week with the two discussing his move to Spain and the significance of the latest CR7-badged Nike Mercurial release, The Chapter 5: Cut to Brilliance boots.
The Portuguese star reminisced about his unveiling to the Madrid fans in 2009, saying the atmosphere in the Bernabeu felt like a matchday with over 80,000 fans in attendance.
“All these people, coming just to see me. It was a great surprise,” he said.
Ferdinand marvelled at Ronaldo’s work ethic from his Manchester United days, when the now 32-year-old would carry on training long after the rest of his teammates were finished, saying this characteristic was Ronaldo’s “x-factor.”
“His passion for continually improving…stood out to me,” said Ferdinand.
“He had all the ingredients – skill, mentality, focus – and when he put them together, he became what he is now.”
For his part, Ronaldo says he was motivated by his desire to learn and improve so he could achieve his ultimate goal: trophies, both individual and collective.
“I learned, to be better and better. To be around the best players in the world. If you have two things – talent and hard work – you can be a huge player. I think I’m in that role.
“You work 10, 11 months a year, so if you don’t win, it feels empty. I like to win trophies, because I work hard for that.”
Ronaldo and Ferdinand’s discussion was made into a Nike short film, The Conversation, which can be seen in the video below.
*Some quotes from Rio Ferdinand also taken from Nike’s official release on the boot and film, which can be found here.