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No matching Madrid firepower

Published: Wednesday 19 October 2005, 18.00CET
Roberto Carlos believes Real Madrid CF's formidable forwards will bring them UEFA Champions League success, with Rosenborg BK next in the firing line.
by Mark Sylvester

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Published: Wednesday 19 October 2005, 18.00CET

No matching Madrid firepower

Roberto Carlos believes Real Madrid CF's formidable forwards will bring them UEFA Champions League success, with Rosenborg BK next in the firing line.
Real Madrid CF's formidable forward line will be the key to their UEFA Champions League success, according to Brazilian full-back Roberto Carlos.

Striking prowess
The nine-time European Champion Clubs' Cup winners have had a stuttering start to this season's competition, following up a 3-0 defeat by Olympique Lyonnais with a narrow 2-1 victory against Olympiacos CFP. However, ahead of tonight's meeting with Norwegian champions Rosenborg BK, Roberto Carlos believes a strike force minus an injured Ronaldo, but still including the talented threesome of Robinho, Raúl González and Julio Baptista, will fire Madrid back into contention in Group F.

World's best
"Personally I don't think there is a team in Europe that can match Real Madrid's forward line," he told uefa.com. "The closest to us would probably be Internazionale [FC] because of Adriano, or [FC] Barcelona who have Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o, but no one can really compare with our attack. In fact, I think we have the best forward line in the world."

Trophy break
The 32-year-old believes the game against Rosenborg, 3-1 winners at Olympiacos in their first UEFA Champions League outing before going down 1-0 at home against Lyon, could be a turning point in Madrid's campaign and could set them on course for a trophy that last made its way to the Santiago Bernabéu stadium at the end of the 2001/02 season.

Gradually learning
He said: "I'm sure we'll win trophies this season, because we've improved the squad and we've changed the way we play our games. Defensively also we are a far better side this year. We didn't start the season well but we are slowly improving with every match. In football, it's not that important how you start, it's how you finish that really matters and I'm really confident Real Madrid will get better and better this year and end the season with a major trophy.

Familiar foes
"Rosenborg are not strangers to us, because we've played them before in different campaigns," he added. "Without meaning any disrespect to them, I think we have a far superior team, so I am sure we'll beat them. If we do that, I think we'll have a good chance of finishing top of our group."

Spanish retirement
As for his own future, the left-back who joined Madrid in 1997 can see himself playing out his career at the Santiago Bernabéu. The Brazilian said: "I love Real Madrid and would love to retire from football as a player with this club. I've signed a form giving me joint Spanish and Brazilian nationality, and I did that because I want to spend my retirement in this country. I have a contract here and I'm very happy working with [Vanderlei] Luxemburgo so I don't expect to leave. However, as we saw with Luís Figo moving to Italy last summer, you never know what is around the corner."

Last updated: 19/10/05 16.04CET

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