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Real Madrid

What Cristiano Ronaldo said back in November proves he should never be written off

Real Madrid 6-3 Girona - what a game that was.

Sunday's exhilarating encounter at the Bernabeu once again belonged to Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored FOUR goals to take his league tally for the season to 22.

He's now only three goals behind Lionel Messi, who at one point was running away at the top of the La Liga top goalscorer's chart.

Ronaldo endured a tricky start to the 2017/18 campaign, but since the turn of 2018 he's been nothing short of incredible.

In 11 league games, the Portuguese has found the back of the net 18 times, including Sunday's four-goal haul, one hat-trick and four braces.


Not bad for someone who was supposedly finished less than six months ago.

Ronaldo turned 33 in February but time and again he's proved his doubters wrong, to the point where even some Barcelona fans have been forced to take back what they've previously said.

He's been so good, in fact, that something he said in November - which sounded stupid at the time -now doesn't seem so ridiculous.

According to Marca, Ronaldo made a bet with his Real teammates four months ago that he would beat Messi to the Pichichi trophy, which is awarded to La Liga's top goalscorer every season.

Ronaldo had only scored one league goal at the time, whereas Messi was leading the way with 11, yet the Portuguese was confident he could catch up.

Now he's only three behind Messi (25), which is pretty remarkable considering how this season has panned out and just goes to show that you should never write him off.

It's a testament to Ronaldo's desire, talent and sheer belief that he's been able to recapture his goalscoring form, with the Portugal star saying last week:

"I don't see many people with my talent, dedication, my work, my ethic, my football. No one is going to be compared with me; no one is going to be Cristiano Ronaldo."

Written by Gideon Sarpong

Espanyol beat Real Madrid for the first time in over a decade

Gerard Moreno scored an injury-time winner as Espanyol beat Real Madrid for the first time in over a decade.

Real had won five games in a row but rested Cristiano Ronaldo and were made to pay for a below-par performance.

Espanyol probably edged the game and Moreno had a first-half goal ruled out for a marginal offside call.

Real defender Sergio Ramos was playing as an extra striker at the end as Moreno controlled Sergio Garcia's cross before smashing the ball home.

On Ramos going up front, Zidane said: "When there's not long left and it's 0-0 anything can happen. We always look to go for the win and today we didn't get it. They scored a goal in the last minute, but there's no need for us to go over it again. We didn't deserve to win or lose.

"We were lacking a little bit in all departments. It's a defeat that hurts and it's a poor result. I feel sorry for the players.

"At times, there's no understanding football. We dropped further back for some spells in the second half but you've got to accept these tough times. At no point in the second half did we do well."

La Liga champions Real remain 14 points behind Barcelona, who visit Las Palmas on Thursday in their game in hand.

Espanyol had failed to win in their last 22 games against Real, drawing only three of those, a run going back to October 2007.

Written by Gideon Sarpong

CL: Madrid fight back to beat PSG

A Cristiano Ronaldo brace helped Real Madrid come from behind to boost their hopes of once again retaining the Champions League during a pulsating last-16 encounter with Paris St-Germain.

The Portuguese forward scored a late close-range strike after his penalty had cancelled out Adrien Rabiot's opener at the end of a thrilling first half.

Brazilian left-back Marcelo wrapped up the victory minutes after Ronaldo's tap-in with a goal created by Marco Asensio.

The emphatic spot-kick meant Ronaldo became the first player in Champions League history to score 100 goals for the same club

Last season, Zinedine Zidane's Real became the first team to retain the Champions League and won La Liga for the first time since 2012.

This term they are already out of the Copa del Rey and fourth in La Liga, 17 points behind leaders Barcelona as pressure on their French manager has mounted.

PSG played their part in an end-to-end contest, with Neymar's delicate assist for Rabiot a highlight and Kylian Mbappe forcing a strong save from Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

But the result puts Real in control heading into the second leg at Parc des Princes on 6 March.

However, Zidane's side also survived a second-half penalty claim with the scores level when Rabiot's shot hit Sergio Ramos high on the arm.

More to follow.

Written by Gideon Sarpong

Jose discusses rescuing Ronaldo from Real ‘fire’

Jose Mourinho says “his feeling” is that Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be fleeing the “fire” currently engulfing Real Madrid.

Real are in fourth place in La Liga, trailing Barcelona by 19 points. The pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane increased on Wednesday night when his side were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganes.


Amid their struggles, speculation has surrounded Ronaldo, with relations between the club and their record goalscorer reportedly having become increasingly strained.

Ronaldo has been linked with a return to Old Trafford but Mourinho cooled talk of a move for United’s former No.7.

“I think with the moment Real Madrid is having now I think I should be the last one to add some fuel to the fire,” Mourinho said of his former club.

“Madrid is on fire, the results are not good and it’s a club where I worked three years, I cared about the club, I am the last one to add [to the] fire.

“To put some water on the fire, I would say Cristiano is the kind of player that everyone wants, but only one manager can have and only one club can have – Zidane and Real Madrid. That’s my feeling.”

Written by Gideon Sarpong

Zidane in 'worst moment' at Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane says he is enduring his "worst moment" as Real Madrid coach and his future at the club rests on their progress in the Champions League.

Zidane's Real have won back-to-back European titles, but are 19 points adrift of La Liga leaders Barcelona and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganes on Wednesday at the Bernabeu.

Real, who finished second in the group to Tottenham, face Paris St-Germain in the Champions League last-16.

"It's a fiasco," said the Frenchman.

"My worst moment as a coach. I don't regret anything I did in the game, though. I take responsibility for what I do."

The European champions led 1-0 from the quarter-final first leg, but lost 2-1 at home to go out on away goals.

"To start this tie in the manner we did it's really bad," added Zidane. "For that I'm angry. I don't understand what's going on."

Zidane has won eight major trophies since he took charge in January 2016, with Real enjoying a record 40-game unbeaten run in all competitions last season.

However, when asked if his future at the club depended on the Champions League tie with the French league leaders on 14 February, the 45-year-old said: "Yes, that's clear.

"I'm responsible for this, I'm the boss. I have to find the solutions. We've found some of them but not consistently enough. I need to take responsibility and I'll always fight."

Written by Gideon Sarpong

Ronaldo checks himself out on the pitch

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo broke his dry spell in a superb performance on Sunday - but it wasn't his goalscoring that made headlines.

Coming off with an injury, he borrowed a mobile phone camera from his doctor - to check his face in the "mirror".

As commentators laughed, declaring they had "seen everything now", Ronaldo shook his head with displeasure.

"Ronaldo took his obsession with his image to new heights," Reuters sports news wrote after the match.

"The most Ronaldo moment ever, simply incredible," offered sports site Benchwarmers.

"Ronaldo staring at himself in the mirror even while he's on the pitch," offered one commenter on BBC Sport's report.

Despite the rampant mockery on social media, Ronaldo's injury - caused by a boot to the head from Deportivo La Coruna's Fabian Schar - was deemed serious enough that he could not continue.

If it seems that fans and the media gave Ronaldo a hard time for checking a significantly bloody injury, the star does have some history of talking about his looks.

In 2011, he famously declared that opposition supporters booed him because he was "rich, handsome and a great player".

"People are envious of me," he said. "I don't have any other explanation."

Sunday's performance bore out his claim of being a great player - the striker managed to score twice before being led off the pitch.

Real's 7-1 victory was enough to move them back up to fourth place in La Liga.

Written by Gideon Sarpong