Cristiano Ronaldo: Expectations for Real Madrid Star vs. Borussia Dortmund
Ronaldo is on fire coming into Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League semifinal tie with Dortmund this April, having scored at least one goal in each of the club's last five matches.
But Ronaldo has really stepped up his game on the European stage, where he has 11 goals in 10 UEFA Champions League appearances for Madrid this season, including three goals in the club's quarterfinal win over Galatasaray.
The 28-year-old star forward will have to prove he can continue his lights-out performance against Dortmund, a squad that held him to just one goal on nine shots in two matches last fall. But considering what we've seen from Ronaldo in recent outings, it's safe to say that Jurgen Klopp and Dortmund are the ones who must prove something: that they can contain the superstar for four consecutive matches.
Look for Ronaldo to experience much more success against Dortmund this time around. Madrid significantly out-possessed and out-shot the German side during the two group stage matches, but was unlucky to only wind up with three goals after 180-plus minutes of play.
How many goals will Ronaldo score in two matches vs. Borussia Dortmund?
Expect Ronaldo to keep his goal streak alive in this tie, scoring at least once in each leg, home and away.
After all, Ronaldo has netted a goal in five straight UEFA Champions League matches and doesn't seem to be phased by the opponent or the location. Madrid and Dortmund will play their first leg in Germany on Wednesday and then a week later at the Bernabeu.
If Madrid can continue to dominate possession, 61-39 as they have against Dortmund this season, and record roughly 18 shots in each leg, their average against Dortmund in two group stage matches, it's almost inevitable that Ronaldo will break through with a few scores of his own.
Like his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, Ronaldo is simply too talented to keep under wraps for 90-plus minutes. Sure, Dortmund held him scoreless in the second group stage meeting last November, but it resulted in two other players scoring for Madrid.
One year after having their UEFA Champions League run cut short at the semifinal stage, look for Jose Mourinho's squad to overcome Borussia Dortmund this spring behind a pair of goals from who else but Cristiano Ronaldo.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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