Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster has reiterated his belief that Cristiano Ronaldo could join the Spanish club next year.
Madrid made the Manchester United winger their top target over the summer, but United refused to do business and the player eventually chose to remain with the Premier League and European champions.
But despite that snub Schuster still believes a deal could be struck in 2009 for Ronaldo.
“I think that next year it is going to be a little more complicated for his club to retain him. There is hope that next year he could be with us,” Schuster told Marca.
“You need to do everything possible (to sign Ronaldo) because this player is worth it. Since the start I thought it was possible although difficult. Possible because the player really showed an interest.
“His class, his position on the right wing and in other areas of the pitch, his work in attack… he would have been an important signing. He didn’t come, but this is the team we have here now and we need to have complete faith in them.”
Schuster believes that Ronaldo’s form last season should lead to him being named European footballer of the year.
“I think that this year Cristiano Ronaldo deserves it. He was the leading scorer in Europe with 42 goals, has won the league and UEFA Champions League…that should be sufficient,” Schuster added.
“He didn’t do so well with the national team (at Euro 2008), but this was due to Spain and Germany.
“It’s easy to say that Spaniards Iker (Casillas) and Xavi (should win it), but if you take into account the overall season you see that Cristiano is the one.”