Real Madrid vs. Ajax  4 - 1

Article

Modric: Real Madrid are Champions League favourites

5 December 2012 14:05

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric believes his team are favourites to win this season's edition of the Champions League.

The Spanish champions had to settle for second spot in Group D to Borussia Dortmund, but the Croatia international nonetheless feels Real are the team to beat in the knockout stages.

"Whoever we draw in the next round it will be a hard tie, but if we play as we can then we will be favourites to advance," Modric told reporters.

"In fact, I think we are the favourites to win the Champions League."

The 27-year-old impressed in Real's 4-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday, and he is pleased with the way things are going for him at the Liga champions.

"I have been here three months now and I am used to the rest of the players and the coach's demands. I am happy with my progression," he said.

Modric has made 18 official appearances for Real so far this term, scoring once.

Article

De Boer slams poor Ajax

5 December 2012 04:16

Frank de Boer has blasted Ajax's performance in the opening 45 minutes of their 4-1 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

A solitary goal from Derk Boerrigter on Tuesday was merely a consolation effort in a game which proved too tough for the Eredivisie side.

"I was very, very mad at half-time," de Boer told reporters.

"In these kinds of matches you have to exceed your normal level. In my opinion there were nine players that were under their normal level.

"Only (Danny) Hoesen and (Kenneth) Vermeer were okay. If it's 2-0 at half-time you can consider us lucky. After half-time we played with more courage. I'm glad we scored, but maybe we could have scored one more."

Fury aside, the Dutchman acknowledged his side's achievement of finishing third in a group which was dubbed the toughest in this year's Champions League.

He added: "We can be proud of what we did. Coming third in this group is a great effort by our team. A lot of people wouldn't have expected this, so that's worth a compliment.

"To become better, we have to play more matches at this level."

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said his side had nothing to fear in the round of 16 despite finishing second in Group D, meaning they will face a seeded team.

"We do not have to be afraid, but we have to respect all our opponents," he said.

"When you finish first, always you think, I finished first, so I will have a more easy rival.

"And so many group winners, after a great job, expect an easy game, but in this case they'll find Real Madrid.

"But for us it is sure we will have a very difficult opponent, but this will be in February, now we have to think about La Liga and about work."

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +51 90
2 38 +67 87
3 38 +66 87
4 38 +27 70
5 38 +17 63

Eredivisie table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0