Cristiano Ronaldo's Current Form Makes Star El Clasico's Most Dangerous Player
For the first time this season, Barcelona's Lionel Messi will be picking on someone his own size as he and the defending Spanish champions welcome Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid to Camp Nou for another highly anticipated El Clasico showdown.
But while Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or in each of the past four seasons, it's the surging Ronaldo who will be the most dangerous player on the pitch this weekend.
After all, the No. 7 is certainly no stranger to success at Camp Nou, per Real Madrid's official Twitter account:
While Messi has been working his way back from a thigh injury and struggling to generate goal-scoring chances for his club, his Portuguese counterpart has been playing lights-out football, scoring half a dozen goals in his last four appearances for Los Blancos.
Even when he's not scoring goals, Ronaldo's ability to create chances and his presence in one particular area of the pitch is often enough to change the outcome of the match.
But given the 28-year-old's current form and the fact that he netted two goals in his most recent trip to Camp Nou, it's fair to say that Ronaldo will be the biggest scoring threat in Saturday's high-stakes clash.
In his most recent outing, Ronaldo scored two goals within the first 28 minutes of Wednesday's Champions League win over Juventus en route to earning Man of the Match honors for the third time in eight matches.
The even better news for Ronaldo and Real is that while Gerardo Martino's Barca squad are much-improved defensively, they are still vulnerable.
AC Milan were able to sneak a goal past them in this week's Champions League draw and the fact that Barca have mustered just one goal in the last 180-plus minutes of play doesn't bode well either.
Ronaldo and his club are well aware of their rivals' current offensive woes. As a result, head coach Carlo Ancelotti may be more willing to unleash his dynamic superstar in Saturday's Clasico, per ESPNFC.com's Dermot Corrigan:
The key is to have the personality to play football -- not to just wait and defend. Character and personality is that -- to try and play football in Barcelona. The counter-attack you use against Barcelona, because it is difficult to have the ball all the time. But the most important thing is to be positive when we have it, to combine well. If we have space to counter, why not, but that is not our objective.
Ancelotti can be confident in his gutsy game plan with Ronaldo leading the way.
The fact that Ronaldo has scored at least one goal in each of his past seven trips says a lot about both his ability and competitive fire.
On Saturday, watch for both to shine brightly.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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