Ozil: 'Real Madrid must keep Ronaldo'

Ozil: Real Madrid needs Ronaldo
Ozil: Real Madrid needs Ronaldo


    Ozil: Real Madrid needs Ronaldo


Ozil: Real Madrid needs Ronaldo 02:55

Story highlights

  • Mesut Ozil believes Cristiano Ronaldo can fire Real Madrid to glory
  • Ozil delighted Ronaldo is staying at the club
  • Germany international reveals new way of playing
  • Believes advice from Zinedine Zidane has helped him blossom

Cristiano Ronaldo has consistently been linked with a move back to Manchester United -- but Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil insists his club must hold onto the player if it is to challenge at the very top.

Ronaldo, who left United for Real in a world record $130 million deal in 2009, has been the subject of much speculation in recent months.

The 28-year-old has scored 201 goals in 199 appearances for Real and club president Florentino Perez recently stated that he expected Ronaldo to finish his career in the Spanish capital.

Read: Can Real Madrid reign in Spain?

But the speculation refuses to disappear -- leaving Ozil hoping his Portuguese teammate stays put.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is very important to the team, just look at all the goals he has scored in the past few seasons," he told CNN.

Carlos Tevez: Man City pressure too much
Carlos Tevez: Man City pressure too much


    Carlos Tevez: Man City pressure too much


Carlos Tevez: Man City pressure too much 03:19
Tour Brazilian football's spiritual home
Tour Brazilian football's spiritual home


    Tour Brazilian football's spiritual home


Tour Brazilian football's spiritual home 02:24
Football continues as Brazilians protest
Football continues as Brazilians protest


    Football continues as Brazilians protest


Football continues as Brazilians protest 02:18

"He's a great person off the field. I hope he can stay here for a long time because he can help us win important titles."

Read: Should Ronaldo return to Man United?

The loss of Ronaldo would be a huge blow to a Real side hoping to snatch the league title back from Barcelona and win its first Champions League crown since 2002.

Real has lost out at the semifinal stage in each of the past three seasons with Borussia Dortmund the last team to put paid to the Spanish club's dream of a 10th triumph in the competition.

Read: Ancelotti moves to Real Madrid

"We have come very close to winning the Champions League in the past few years and that leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth," Ozil revealed.

"What we hope is that we can go further this season. I believe we are good enough to make the final.

"Real is the biggest club in the world and I feel privileged to have the opportunity play here.

"It's like a dream. It's true there's a great deal of pressure to win every game and every title but I actually enjoy that.

"I feel comfortable playing under pressure and thrive in those situations."

Real has been busy in the transfer market ahead of the new season as it looks to challenge both at home and abroad.

It has already spent $35 million on talented playmaker Isco and $52 million on defensive midfielder Asier Illarramendi.

The club are also reportedly interested in signing Tottenham's Gareth Bale, despite Spurs' determination to hang onto the player.

Bale's pace and power lit up the English Premier League last season with the Welshman scoring 21 goals in 33 top-flight appearances.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas revealed Friday that the club is currently trying to negotiate a new contract with the player.

But Real are unlikely to be deterred with Bale exactly the type of player new coach Carlo Ancelotti could utilize as he attempts to increase the tempo of Real's play.

"Ancelotti has his own football philosophy," added Ozil of the man Perez chose to succeed Jose Mourinho.

"He wants us to play quicker than before. His system is different to what we're used to but that's why friendly games are important.

"We can get used to a new way of playing. We have quick attacking players so I believe we are equipped to adopt his system successfully."

Ozil will be hoping to guarantee his own place in Ancelotti's side and the 24-year-old has been taking advice from former Real legend Zinedine Zidane.

"Zidane was one of my idols when I was growing up so it was great to have a chance to meet him at Real Madrid," Ozil added.

"He has given me some advice but I'll keep that to myself.

"I really appreciate the support he has given me and what he has said to me since I have been here."

      Football Focus

    • French football great bids adieu

      After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
    • Mario's 'Queen' tweet tops 2014 list

      He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
    • bpr south african soccor senzo meyiwa death _00000402.jpg

      Loss of a South African 'icon'

      Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
    • German alleged jihadist Kreshnik B (R) listens to his lawyer Mutlu Guenal (L) as he arrives at the higher regional court in Frankfurt. His face is pixelated for legal reasons.

      From Jewish football to ISIS suspect

      Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
    • Where has 'Super' Mario gone?

      One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
    • Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

      Should rapist return to work?

      Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
    • Teen, 15, makes Euro history

      Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.