Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/29/13
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Cristiano Ronaldo declared that Barcelona is a fantastic team and that Real Madrid will miss “key players” for the Copa del Rey semifinal game against Barcelona. The Portuguese star said the absences of Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao and Angel di Maria, will serve as an “excuse.” A new “Clasico” against Barcelona comes at Ronaldo’s best time with Real Madrid. On Sunday, he scored three goals against Getafe in ten minutes, surpassing career 300 goals. His record with the Spanish team is very impressive: 179 goals in 176 games. Nevertheless, Ronaldo praised their upcoming rival. “It’s an important game, a difficult game,” he said. “We’ll play against one of the toughest teams in the world, so it will be a great night,” he said in to the English version of Real Madrid TV. “We are at home so we have a good chance of getting a good result. We will miss several important players for the team, key players, but this is not an excuse, we have to play well because we know that Barça is a fantastic team. I hope it’s a great night for us and we are looking forward to playing.” For more sports news, visit Terra.com.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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