How important was it for Cristiano Ronaldo to score that winning goal for Real Madrid in the Clasico? To finally slay the Barcelona beast at the Camp Nou? It’s not like the Portougese star needed any more confidence boosts. He’s had enough of them throughout his career.
But it did mean quite a lot. He may like to admit it or not, but it’s impossible to believe that the whole rivalry with Messi has never been sitting in his head. The fact that he didn’t beat Barcelona in the league or Champions League since arriving at Madrid, until last Saturday, had to be bugging him.
The false notion that he never shows up for the big games was pretty much based on the Barcelona problem. After all, with both teams pretty much guaranteed to steamroll over everyone in Spain and almost everyone in Europe each and every single match, the only big games that are left are the Clasico clashes.
But it’s been there all season, all his three season with Real. The incredible numbers, 108 goals in 97 league matches for Real are hard to comprehend. Like Mourinho said once, which sounded stupid at the time – In any other league we would have won the title, speaking about the 2010-2011 season. But he was right. Real Madrid have been an incredible team, winning at an incredible rate. The only problems was this Barcelona team, almost from another galaxy.
Same goes for Ronaldo, who might win the Pachichi once again, setting another record for goals in a season, but there’s always that Lionel Messi thing every time he turns his head. And as people forget about everything that happened in football prior to the Guardiola era with Barca, people forgot Cristiano Ronaldo won the Champions League in 2008. Ronaldo was the best player in the world, with the official FIFA and UEFA validations.
And as much as it was important for Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho to finally get that Guardiola matter off his/their back, Ronaldo’s goal finally showed that he was here all along. That big games, like his hat trick against Atletico Madrid, aren’t just Clasico matches. The concealing glass was broken. The fog dispersed. Messi is great. The best probably. But Ronaldo is just as good, with the best matter left to opinion.
Next up? Bayern Munich, who have the 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Germany. Is it enough? Chances are Real Madrid will score, at least one goal. Real Madrid didn’t score at home only once this season, their 0-0 draw with Valencia two weeks ago. Hard to see it not happening for a second time. Hard to imagine Cristiano Ronaldo not scoring as well.