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Ronaldo fails to sparkle on Real Madrid home debut

Last updated on: July 27, 2009 

Ronaldo fails to sparkle on Real Madrid home debut

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Cristiano Ronaldo made a disappointingly low-key home debut for Real Madrid against Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad in their Peace Cup match at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

Real's next match in the Peace Cup, which includes Italian side Juventus, France's Olympique Lyon and England's Aston Villa, is against Ecuador's Liga de Quito on Tuesday.


Image: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo controls the ball during their Peace Cup match against Al Ittihad in Madrid
Photographs: Reuters
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Disappointment is writ large

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Around 80,000 had packed the stadium for the Portuguese winger's glitzy presentation this month but the massive arena in the Spanish capital was only about a third full as Real were held to a 1-1 draw.


Image: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during their Peace Cup match against Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad in Madrid
Photographs: Reuters
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Heaving a sigh of relief

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Ronaldo, who cost Real a world-record 93 million euros (80.4 million pounds), had one decent effort on goal in the first half but was generally ineffective before being replaced by Arjen Robben with around 25 minutes left.


Image: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo shakes hands with Higuain as he leaves the pitch during their Peace Cup match in Madrid
Photographs: Reuters
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Real had to rely on Raul again

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Raul opened the scoring early in the second half when he picked up a pass from Karim Benzema with his back to goal, turned his marker and fired a low shot into the net.

Hecham Aboucharoan equalised for Al Ittihad in the 64th minute when he directed a superb header past Jerzy Dudek into the top left corner of the Real goal.

New signing Esteban Granero crashed a long-range effort against the bar on his home debut for Real and the visitors missed two clear chances for a winner in the closing stages.


Image: Real Madrid's Raul Gonzalez reacts during their Peace Cup match against Al Ittihad at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid
Photographs: Reuters
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