Ahead of the Champions League encounter between Manchester United and Real Madrid tomorrow night, Madrid appear to be the stronger side, beating Barcelona twice last week. United, on the other hand, thrashed Norwich City 4-0 helped by a Shinji Kagawa hat-trick. 

While both teams are currently in form, a number of players could prove crucial to their club's continued European participation this season. Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo are the players most likely to influence the game and propel their side into the next round.

Wayne Rooney:

At the weekend, Rooney assisted Kagawa for two of his goals before the 27-year-old bagged United's fourth with an astonishing finish from outside the box. An outstanding performance from the England striker led to hope among the United supporters that he can put on a similar show on Tuesday night, which he might very well do.

Alan Shearer, the former England captain, thinks Rooney could be the star, even though he doubts United's chances of moving on to the next stage of the Champions League. Despite his change in role to a deeper centre-forward, Rooney still comes to mind as one of the United players with game-turning abilities and his hard-working personality could be important for the Red Devils.

Cristiano Ronaldo:

The former United legend is looking to destroy his former club's hopes of repeating their legendary 1998/99 treble by continuing his current European goal ratio of one goal a game. Ronaldo, who helped United win the 2008 Champions League trophy by scoring eight goals in the tournament, is looking sharper than ever, gaining praise from experts and managers all over the world, including former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

While United supporters probably won't share his point of view, the Portuguese forward himself says that he would very much enjoy scoring at his old home ground, even though he wouldn't know how to celebrate. One thing's for sure, Ronaldo is the man to look out for.


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