Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the best player in the world.
The Champions League holders are set to host the Reds on Tuesday night knowing a win would take them into the knockout stages of European football’s premier club competition.
And Rodgers is aware of the threat Ronaldo will pose, though he is not underestimating the rest of Los Blancos’ squad.
“Ronaldo is, at this moment in time, the best player in the world,” he told reporters.
“He will tell you himself it is very much about the team. They have some outstanding players in [Karim] Benzema, Isco, [Luka] Modric and [Toni] Kroos.
“He is the catalyst of that team and let’s hope he doesn’t score too many more tomorrow.”
The Anfield outfit travel to the Spanish capital having won just once in their last four outings but still with their Champions League hopes in their own hands.
Basel’s defeat to Ludogorets on matchday three has left both teams level on points with Rodgers’ side, and though wins in their final two matches would likely see the Merseyside team through to the last 16, the former Swansea City boss has not written off claiming a victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“It’s a wonderful arena – one of the iconic grounds in the world. When you come up against the best opponents then that’s the challenge.
“We see it as an opportunity. We’re not coming here expecting to lose and then try win the other games.
“The key is to be compact, very disciplined and to close the spaces. When you have the ball you then have to create the problems yourself.”