Football, News 2018-02-05 8:58 AM

Cristiano Ronaldo has won back to back Champions League titles under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid but this year, something seems off for both the coach and the striker. Real Madrid has suffered an abysmal La Liga campaign this year and Zidane is failing uplift the performances of his squad while Ronaldo has recorded his worst ever run in La Liga with 8 goals in 17 games played so far.

 

When Neymar will marshall his troops at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu against Cristiano Ronaldo-led Real Madrid in the forthcoming UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie, there will be a lot at stake for the hosts. For instance, the gravity of the match is so extreme that even under-fire Zinedine Zidane conceded that it is the most important game of his career. And if careers are on the line then a lot will be riding on the shoulders of Ronaldo.

Real Madrid has suffered a torrid 2017-18 La Liga campaign and expectedly, Cristiano Ronaldo has been made the scapegoat of the abysmal results. The Portuguese has been far from his tremendous self on the pitch and has registered just 8 goals in 17 appearances so far. His goalscoring return has been on a downward spiral ever since his record-breaking 2014-15 La Liga season, when he scored a ridiculous 48 goals. Ronaldo could only garner 35 strikes in the subsequent year and 25 in the last season.

Probably, the passion and vigour that Ronaldo had for La Liga may have dwindled over the last couple of years but he is still a goal-hungry beast when it comes to UEFA’s elite tournament. The last time when he couldn’t score Champions League goals in double figures was in 2010. Ever since then he has been terrorising opposition defences at will in the continental championship and currently stands tall at the summit of the all-time Champions League goalscorers list with 114 goals.

Real Madrid are the defending champions of Champions League and in the last three seasons, Zinedine Zidane has guided Los Blancos to two Champions League titles. In the upcoming game with Paris Saint Germain, not just Real Madrid’s but the reputation of both the French coach and his Portuguese ace is at stake. The sheer level of expectations is a monster that the unprecedented success has created for the Spanish club and every entity involved, and it will only grow stronger with remarkable performances and clinching of silverware.

 

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