Assessing Cristiano Ronaldo's Contribution for Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray

Samuel Marsden@@samuelmarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2013

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - APRIL 09:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match between Galatasaray AS and Real Madrid at the Turk Telekom Arena on April 9, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It doesn't matter how they come, the important thing is that they keep on coming. And in Cristiano Ronaldo's case, they do.

Left foot or right foot.

Screamers or tap ins.

The 28-year-old harnesses the complete collection. 

Before Tuesday night's match against Galatasaray, Ronald said, "If we go with the ambition to score a goal, we will go through fine."

Within 10 minutes Real Madrid had that goal. And it was, of course, supplied by Ronaldo.

Sami Khedira found himself in the penalty box able to square a pass across to Ronaldo. The Portuguese international then found himself with a simple chance to convert.

Right place, right time. 

It was the fifth successive European game he'd scored in—a personal record—and his 10th in the Champions League this season. It briefly moved him joint with Andriy Shevchenko as the fifth all-time top scorer in the competition with 48.

A minute later it was a different type of goal he was attempting to score.

Driving across the pitch from left to right, he pulled the trigger from 25 yards. But Ronaldo's low drive was comfortably collected by Nestor Muslera in the Gala goal.

His six assists in 2013 very nearly became seven. This wonderful piece of skill set up Angel Di Maria to make it 2-0, but a fantastic save from Muslera thwarted the Argentinian.

Ronaldo did have a bit of trouble in the 57th minute, though. Di Maria's pass across the box screamed goal, but the ball seemingly got caught up in Ronaldo's feet and his prodded finish trickled comically wide.

Seconds later at the other end, Emmanuel Eboue rifled in an equalizer on the night. 

Within 15 minutes, the Turkish side had raced into a 3-1 lead with Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba both providing the finishes. All of a sudden inside a feverish Turk Telekom Arena, Los Blancos appeared on the ropes.

Ronaldo was the man who looked to take the edge off.

Luka Modric's lofted pass blazed over by the former Manchester United forward in the 75th minute. In stoppage time he did finally kill off any thoughts of a miracle in Istanbul, finishing exquisitely from Karim Benzema's drag back after Alvaro Arbeloa had seen red.

It was night when Jose Mourinho couldn't rely on the faces of Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso. However, he could once again rely on his fellow countryman.

Two clinical finished were aided by a 100 percent success rate in aerial battles, as well as 80 percent of 30 passes completed—two of which were key (via

In 23 games this calendar year, Ronaldo now has 27 goals and six assists in 1866 minutes. That is averaging a goal more than every 75 minutes.

"Calma, calma. Cristiano is here," Ronaldo modestly announced when he scored at Camp Nou against Barcelona last April. It was the case again in Turkey.

If his early strike calmed the storm from Fatih Terim's men before it was allowed to stir, Ronaldo's late effort stamped his mark on a competition he'll hope will be remembered in his name.