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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fans Await Ronaldo-'Sukerman' Clash

MADRID -- Spanish fans looking to portray the Real Madrid-Barcelona clash as a personal battle need look no further than the rivalry between Real's Davor Suker and young Barcelona striker Ronaldo.

The Brazilian and Croatian aces, who lead the Spanish goal-scoring tables with 13 and 12 goals respectively, have grabbed center stage ahead of Saturday's big clash.

Both men have shone in a season in which their multibillion peseta teammates have often failed to impress.

The main reason for the attention lies in the massive amounts invested in players by both clubs over the close season.

One newspaper added up the amount another club would have to pay to free both first team squads from their contracts. The total was 62 billion pesetas ($473 million).

Barcelona's main close-season investment was in Ronaldo, and a string of scintillating individual goals have seen Barcelona shirts emblazoned with Ronaldo's name, and the trademark winged glide with which the striker celebrates his goals appearing in playgrounds all over Spain.

Real fans, some of whom will have been waiting for over three days to buy tickets, have their own Ronaldo to trust in. "We're going to win 3-0, with a hat-trick from Suker," one fan told a television crew.

Despite a curious one-sided style -- Suker is very much left-footed -- he takes on men with ease and finishes with a powerful shot.

Barcelona coach Bobby Robson is fully aware of the danger posed by the man known to fans as "Sukerman." The former England manager has been holding special training sessions for defenders ahead of what he described as "the most important game in the world."


Vicenza, Italy's surprise league leader, aims to stretch its advantage when it entertains nearest rivals Inter Milan on Sunday.

Inter has disappointed its fans in its last three league games in which it was held to draws by Fiorentina, AC Milan and Cagliari.

Inter central defender Massimo Paganin acknowledged that Sunday's game represented a crucial test for his side's overall championship prospects.

"This is an important test. It will be a very tactical match between two sides who play a very tight, close game."

Inter will be without suspended French defender Jocelyn Angloma and injured Chilean striker Ivan Zamorano.