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Real Madrid: 5 Signs Cristiano Ronaldo Is a Lock to Take Pichichi Trophy Again

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2012

Real Madrid: 5 Signs Cristiano Ronaldo Is a Lock to Take Pichichi Trophy Again

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    Dating back to 1929, the Pichichi Trophy is awarded by Marca to the top goalscorer in La Liga.

    The Spanish duopoly with Real Madrid and Barcelona have recently stretched to the Pichichi. Since Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival in 2009, both he and Lionel Messi have alternated winning the trophy.

    This league season has been a game of Can You Top This? between the two.

    Ronaldo scored a hat trick against Levante on February 12. One week later Messi scored four goals against Valencia. When Ronaldo scored a backheeled goal this past week against Rayo Vallecano, Messi scored a wonderful free kick against Atletico Madrid.

    It's amazing to watch the two best players in the world face off like this.

    Although Messi might be the superior player, Ronaldo is destined to repeat as Pichichi winner.

History

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    It may not dictate who is going to win the award, but history is no doubt on Ronaldo's side.

    A Real Madrid player has won the Pichichi Trophy a record 25 times. Athletic Bilbao are second with 12. Barcelona are third with 11.

    There's something to be said for the fact that a Madrid player has won the award so often.

    Granted, Marca is a Madrid paper that almost despises anything associated with Barcelona, but that doesn't affect how many goals a Madrid player scores over a Barca player.

League Standing

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    Madrid sit 10 points atop the La Liga table.

    With this gap, you could see Barcelona ease off their league campaign to focus more on the Champions League. If they do at any point give up on trying to win La Liga, they won't be as effective in the attack.

    Already up to this point, Real Madrid has scored 10 more goals than Barcelona.

    That goal difference could increase even more later on into the season.

    It's difficult to determine which club has the better attack, but the numbers do speak for themselves. If Madrid score more goals as a team then that will rub off on Ronaldo's totals as well.

Multiple Threat

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    While Messi is probably the superior overall player, Ronaldo can score from a much wider variety than the Argentinian.

    Messi has never been known for his prodigious heading or free kicks, despite his wonder goal this past weekend.

    Ronaldo, however, is a world-class header of the ball, and his free kicks aren't bad either. The penalty spot is often very kind to the Portuguese midfielder as well.

    So far this year, Ronaldo has scored four headed goals and 10 penalty kicks. Messi only has one and two, respectively.

David Villa's Injury

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    Without David Villa, Barcelona often line up without a striker, so the duty falls to Messi. That's probably been a bit of a good thing for Messi's scoring, but it just allows opposing defenses to key on him even more.

    It obviously doesn't look to be working, with the Argentine having scored 28 goals so far, but you have to wonder how long someone with Messi's size can stand up to the constant harassment he deals with from defenders.

    He has played in 23 of Barcelona's 24 games so far. This season, the club's relative lack of a deep squad and all the soccer they've played over the last few years has really caught up with them.

    Players like Xavi, Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas have all missed time due to injury.

    The fact that Villa was ruled out for the season back in the fall has done Messi no favors in trying to unburden him from carrying so much of the scoring load.

    Sooner or later, it could really catch up to him.

Diving

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    This one might be a bit of a stretch, but it's a factor nonetheless.

    Even though Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets is one of the most serial divers in the world, the Real Madrid players are just as guilty themselves.

    And it's not even a contest when it comes to Ronaldo and Messi.

    There's videos dedicated to the fact that Messi never dives.

    On the other hand, Ronaldo's flopping has become almost as prodigious as his goalscoring. This just allows Real Madrid to have free kicks in dangerous parts of the field.

    As stated earlier, Ronaldo is very adept at free kicks, and if there's one anywhere close to goal, he's not going to let anyone else take it.

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