How Many League Goals Will Cristiano Ronaldo Score This Season?
Shockingly, Cristiano Ronaldo's tally of 34 La Liga goals last season was his lowest total since his first year in Madrid. You read that correctly. With an average of a goal per game, Ronaldo had an off year finding the back of the net.
Along with Ronaldo's goal shortage, Real Madrid failed to achieve their lofty goals, losing out in all major competitions. But with five new signings and Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, Madrid are off to a fast start. The attack is crowded but loaded with talent, and Ronaldo's slow beginning to the season looks to be a mere hiccup.
But how all this new talent will affect Ronaldo's goalscoring exploits remains to be seen.
The creative influence of Isco differs from the passing excellence of Mesut Ozil. Gareth Bale broke the 20-goal mark for Tottenham last season—will he take a slice of the goalscoring pie?
These questions cannot be answered easily, but it is important to take a step back and review Ronaldo's scoring record for Madrid.
In his tumultuous first season with the club, Ronaldo managed to make 29 league appearances and notched 26 goals. An ankle injury picked up while on international duty hampered his play, but ultimately it was a personal success. Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain combined for 53 league goals—the most out of any duo in club history at the time, according to the Real Madrid website.
It was in his second year with Madrid that Ronaldo's scoring touch reached new heights. A record-setting 40 league goals in just 34 games displayed the forward's breathtaking individual talent. Though ultimately the team fell short yet again, Ronaldo's goal to give Madrid victory in the Copa del Rey over Barcelona signified that the tide was turning.
In 2011/12, Ronaldo was on another level. Lionel Messi may have won the awards, But Ronaldo's scoring explosion and club success was almost too good to be true. In La Liga, Ronaldo contributed a whopping 46 goals in 38 appearances. His personal accomplishments were mirrored by the club, as Los Blancos finally stole the league crown back from their bitter rivals.
Ultimately, Real Madrid rely heavily on Ronaldo and his goalscoring abilities. Ancelotti has experimented with Ronaldo through the middle, but statistics indicate that his most prolific position is on the left.
How many La Liga goals will Ronaldo score?
Already this season, the Portuguese man has scored six goals and recorded two assists in four games from left wing, but just one goal in two appearances up top in all competitions, according to WhoScored.
Yet the new additions in the squad might hurt his tally as much as they help it. Isco is proving to be more of a goalscoring playmaker than a distributor, Karim Benzema will certainly reach double digits and new boy Gareth Bale is sure to leave his mark as well.
As the season continues, Ronaldo will feel more comfortable with his new teammates. Their mutual understanding should spark the offense, leading to an increased tally for all. If Ronaldo gets back to his best—and all signs indicate he will—it is safe to assume the forward will close in on the 40-goal mark yet again.
It is unclear whether or not Madrid need their main man to reach astronomical figures to be successful in league play—though their only title during the Ronaldo era came during his 46-goal haul.
At age 28, Ronaldo is well into his prime. His ability to acclimate to new squad members will play a major role in his personal achievements this season, but there is no doubt that Ronaldo's goals-per-game record will remain intact.
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