Fri, Aug 10, 2012 - Page 17 News List

Ronaldo, Real Madrid rout AC Milan 5-1

AP, NEW YORK

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, right, takes a shot defended by A.C. Milan’s Mathieu Flamini in the second half of their friendly soccer match at Yankee Stadium, the home of the New York Yankees baseball team, in New York on Wednesday.

Photo: Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a pair of second-half goals, and Kaka set up three against his former and perhaps future team as Real Madrid downed AC Milan 5-1 on Wednesday in a friendly at Yankee Stadium.

Angel di Maria put Madrid ahead with a spectacular long-range volley in the 24th minute, but Robinho equalized nine minutes later with one of the few shots by Milan, the seven-time European champions depleted by summer departures and retirements.

Ronaldo, the 2008 FIFA Player of the Year, finished crisp passes with quick bursts of speed in the 49th and 66th minutes, the latter off a pass from Kaka. Sergio Ramos made it 4-1 with a header following Kaka’s corner in the 81st and Jose Callejon added the final goal off Kaka’s chip in the 89th.

With top executives from both clubs in New York, there was intrigue involving Kaka, the 2007 FIFA Player of the Year. AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani hugged Real Madrid president Florentino Perez on the field before warmups, then exchanged greetings with Real coach Jose Mourinho.

Kaka, now 30, has been a backup at Madrid and appears to desire a return to Italy. He entered in the 62nd minute.

Purchased by Milan from Sao Paulo at age 21 in 2003, Kaka became a star with Milan and scored 95 goals in 269 games over six seasons. Madrid bought him in the summer of 2009 for 65 million euros (then US$93.5 million) and he has struggled with injuries since. He has 24 goals in 92 games for Los Blancos.

Los Merengues scored the first goal when Mesut Oezil’s corner was punched out by Christian Abbiati straight to Di Maria, whose volley might have grazed the goalkeeper’s fingertips on its way in.

Milan equalized after Antonio Cassano made a quick pass to Antonio Nocerino, who sent a backheel pass to Robinho. He side-footed the ball in from close range, then ran and kissed a fan’s hand in the first row.

Ronaldo, cheered loudly by the crowd of 49,474, gave Madrid a 2-1 lead with a shot off a feed from Lass Diarra. Backup Marco Amelia, who entered at the start of the second half, made a diving stop to deny Ronaldo on a long-range shot.

On Madrid’s third goal, Gonzalo Higuain passed from the flank to Kaka, who controlled the ball and freed an open Ronaldo for an uncontested shot.

Real Madrid, eliminated by Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League semi-finals, open the La Liga season on Aug. 19 at home to Valencia. Milan start Serie A on Aug. 26 at home against promoted Sampdoria.

Owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Milan have turned over their squad in startling fashion, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Filippo Inzaghi and Mark Van Bommel all departing. Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo was the only big addition, before defender Cristian Zappata was obtained on Wednesday on loan from Spain’s Villarreal.

“There is a big gap between us and Real Madrid for the time being,” Allegri said.

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