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Ronaldo: I can handle pressure at Madrid

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Life after Manchester United
  • Cristiano Ronaldo says he feels comfortable playing for Real Madrid
  • Pressure in Spain greater than in England, world's most expensive player says
  • Portuguese star says he is saving goals for World Cup
  • Ronaldo: "I've always played with pressure. For me it's another challenge"

London, England (CNN) -- The pressure of playing for Real Madrid is greater than playing for Manchester United but Cristiano Ronaldo says he has settled into life at his new club.

The Portuguese forward's first season in Spain since his world record $130-million move from England has been disrupted by injury. But Ronaldo has thrived on the pitch, scoring 20 goals in 19 appearances.

"It's always complicated when you come from a different league, different football, but I feel very comfortable. The team play nice and they help me a lot," Ronaldo told CNN.

But the 25-year-old, a former world and European footballer of the year, admitted that the pressure of being a Real Madrid player was more intense than anything he had experienced at Old Trafford.

"Here in Spain, the club have more pressure," he said. "There are many people, more journalists, a lot of pressure."

"But it's not a problem. I played six years for Manchester and you have to be calm all the time, you have to do what you do, to work and to train hard. I don't care about the pressure. I've always played with pressure and for me it is another challenge."

Portugal, who reached the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, struggled to qualify for this year's finals in South Africa, beating Bosnia and Herzegovina in a playoff to book their place.

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Ronaldo failed to score in Portugal's qualifying campaign and he admitted it had been a difficult year for Portugal. But he said the team was stronger than its recent form suggested and said he was "keeping his goals for the World Cup."

"This is the moment. We have to work and I'm really confident and I look forward to scoring goals at the world Cup," he said.