Ronaldo edges closer to another record
MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo has already broken one record in this year’s Champions League but against Juventus, in their quarter-final return on Wednesday he can edge closer to beating a bigger milestone of his own.
Ronaldo’s bicycle kick in Real Madrid’s 3-0 first leg victory last week ensured he passed Ruud van Nistelrooy’s feat by scoring in 10 consecutive Champions League games.
But the Portuguese also now stands just three goals short of his best ever tally in a single European campaign, an achievement that would suggest this Ronaldo, aged 33, may even be the finest version yet.
His 14 goals so far have come over nine matches and featured doubles against APOEL, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.
It means this is Ronaldo’s third most prolific Champions League showing to date already and, with Real almost certain to reach the semi-finals, he is unlikely to finish here.
When he posted 16 goals in the 2015-16 tournament and his personal best of 17 in 2013-14, both times Real were crowned champions.
“Cristiano is Cristiano, it’s always been like that,” coach Zinedine Zidane said after Ronaldo opened the scoring against Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
“There’s no other player in the team that scores like he does.”
There is no doubt Ronaldo’s game is now more streamlined and therefore more geared towards goals than perhaps it has ever been before.
To preserve his fitness and energy, he accepts less touches and covers less ground. The touches he takes and the spaces he finds are aimed at creating the greatest chance of hitting the net.