When you put together a player who is by minority opinion the best in the world on a team filled with feeling of “We got screwed” and “Lets blow some steam until the season is over” with the added bonus of playing weak teams with weak defenses who are completely inferior in every manner imaginable – you get Cristiano Ronaldo’s crazy scoring run as the season comes to an end.
38 Goals. If you read the Marca, a pro Real Madrid Newspaper, Ronaldo’s at 39. Problem is – the Spanish FA makes that decision, and 38 it is. Tied with Hugo Sanchez and Telmo Zarra for most goals scored in a La Liga season. You can bet your house, car, wife and kids Ronaldo will be breaking that mark on Saturday at the Bernabeu against Almeria. He says he’s not obsessed with breaking records. Well, maybe he is, just a bit. No one has ever accused Ronaldo of not wanting to score or get his names in the headlines. If the season ends without a championship or Champions League title, the least he can get is a win over Lionel Messi in the scoring charts.
It all started with the laugher at Sevilla, which was one of the strangest matches I’ve seen all year. Usually, the away match against Sevilla is one of Real’s toughest games all year, losing there more than once. The team that won two consecutive UEFA cups not too long ago and seemed ready to become a permanent rival to Real and Barcelona for the league title crashed and burned this season. The players don’t seem to care anymore, and Cristiano Ronaldo, not one to make things easy on broken pieces of a team, scored four goals while attempting 11 shots at goal. Next Week? 11 attempts again, a hat trick, a 4-0 win against Getafe. This weekend? Villareal – an away match against the team ranked fourth. Nothing to play for the yellow submarine, and an easy 3-1 win for Real. Ronaldo? A brace while attempting only four shots at goal.
With Barcelona tanking the end of the season so they’ll be well rested for the Champions League final has made it possible for Real Madrid to finish only one point behind them when it’s all said and done. Not a very telling photo finish of the real season the unfolded – A season that saw the knockout punch being delivered way back in November. But hey, there’s pride and scoring titles to play for. Ronaldo has already broken the scoring record for a Real Madrid player in all competitions this season – 51 goals in 53 matches. He has 84 in 88 since becoming the most expensive footballer in the world. He has only won one Spanish Cup, a minor, nearly irrelevant title no matter how much Real fans tried to sweeten the blow in the end of the season. For a player who won three league titles and one Champions League trophy during his final three seasons with United, that’s not nearly enough. For a club that’s considered and actually backed by numbers to be the most successful in the history of Spain and European Football, that’s nothing.
Cristiano Ronaldo had an amazing season, maybe his best. It’s easier in the La Liga then the weekly grind of the Premier League. Yeah, he had one incredible year there, 2007-2008. He wouldn’t be scoring 30 goals a season there if he stayed, not for long. Lionel Messi, the best in the world, couldn’t have done it either. It’s just tougher up north. Maybe the quality of play isn’t comparable to Spain, but it is harder. Don’t believe anyone who tells you different.
For Ronaldo, titles are the main thing. He wants to be the greatest, be the best. And if not by titles, at least not yet, as the Empire from the east continues to dominate Real, with the help or without the help of referees and whoever else Jose Mourinho chooses to blame, than by individual achievements, unimportant as they may be for him, so he says.