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Cristiano Ronaldo Must Be at His Best for Real Madrid to Beat Borussia Dortmund

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Cristiano Ronaldo Must Be at His Best for Real Madrid to Beat Borussia Dortmund
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When Real Madrid faces Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semifinals, you might think that the Spanish side is the prohibitive favorite to advance to the final. 

You would be incorrect, I'm afraid.

Borussia Dortmund still hasn't lost a single game in this year's Champions League, beat Los Blancos 2-1 in Germany during the group stage in November and drew 2-2 in Madrid two weeks later, after Mesut Ozil tied the game for Real Madrid in the 89th minute.

For that reason, it will be up to Cristiano Ronaldo to lead his side to victory.

Again.

It may seem obvious that Ronaldo must be in form against Dortmund, but generally Los Blancos have enough talent to beat opponents even if he isn't the man of the match. Against Dortmund, I'm not so sure that's the case.

While Bayern Munich has already wrapped up the Bundesliga, Dortmund has lost just once in all competitions since the beginning of March and has proven to be one of the elite sides in Europe this season. Players like Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski would start for most clubs in the world.

Plus, Dortmund has the look of a charmed team after scoring two goals in stoppage time against Malaga to advance to the semifinals. Sometimes, nothing in sports is more insurmountable than a team with a bit of luck on its side.

And seeing as they would have moved forward on aggregate had the team's group stage meeting been a semifinal, some folks might even consider Dortmund the favorites.

Real Madrid is the more popular squad, however, so it's no surprise that over at Bovada Los Blancos are considered the favorites to reach the final. The fact that Ronaldo is the best player in the matchup might alone be the reason Real Madrid is favored.

And Ronaldo will have to play like the best player. He's once again having an epic season, with 50 goals and seven assists in all competitions for Los Blancos. He's been particularly dangerous of late, scoring in seven straight games for Real Madrid (with nine goals during that time).

With a league title pretty much out of the question at this point, winning a Champions League title is now the top priority for Real Madrid. And you have to think Ronaldo would like nothing more than leading his team to that title rather than seeing it go to Lionel Messi and Barcelona.

Which team wins?

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Not that it's a given that Barca can get past Bayern Munich, of course. In fact, I think it's the German side that will win that tie, but that's just me. 

In the end, just like Messi must come up huge for Barca against Bayern Munich, Ronaldo must be at his very best against Dortmund. Barcelona and Real Madrid might be considered the top superpowers in European football, but these German sides are the real deal and aren't about to be intimidated.

 

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