08.12.2017 » Can Ronaldo lead Real Madrid to the Champions League crown?
Without a doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo will go down in history as one of the greatest footballers of all-time, but he still has time on his side. He may be 32 years old, but the Portugal legend is showing next to no signs of slowing down. Zinedine Zidane’s side have struggled to inspire confidence in La Liga this term, but the Spanish giants are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League once again – and punters will fancy the defending champions to retain the crown...
Real Madrid - Champions League celebration:
If Real Madrid want to compete at Europe's top table, Cristiano Ronaldo is going to have to step up his game. This has been a tough start to the season for the Portuguese and Madrid fans will be expecting an improved effort in the second half of the campaign.
It speaks volumes to Ronaldo's quality over the course of his career that some are judging his 16 goals in 22 appearances as a bad season, but that is a testament to how impressive he has been. Along with Lionel Messi, he is arguably the best player to have ever stepped onto a football field.
Winning the Champions League means more to Madrid and Ronaldo than most European clubs. Ronaldo has been the pivotal figure of Real's latest dynasty and a fourth Champions League crown beckons if Madrid can get back to their brilliant best in the near future.
As of December 8th, SportsBet customers can back Zidane's side at 6.00 to go on and win the final in Kiev at the end of May. Should Ronaldo hit top form, Madrid will go deep into Europe’s elite club competition once again.
In six group stage matches, the Portugal star has already notched nine European goals this season – one goal shy of Lionel Messi’s group stage record. After bagging a brace in Real's victory over APOEL Nicosia, Ronaldo set a new record for most Champions League goals in a single calendar year. Last Wednesday, he scored against Dortmund and also became the first player to have scored at least a goal in all group matches...
With 17 goals already under his belt in 2017, Ronaldo's form in Europe has been simply sublime to say the least. The best players in the business want to succeed on the biggest stage and Real's stars will be keen to shine ahead of next summer's World Cup.
17 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 17 Champions League goals in 2017; the record for a single player in a calendar year in the #UCL. King. pic.twitter.com/FulsXQnWeU— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 21, 2017
The Santiago Bernabeu faithful are well accustomed to winning by now and supporters will be expecting success this season. Real Madrid now demand silverware on a yearly basis and Zidane's men will be looking to challenge for European glory in the coming months. Madrid have been the dominant force in the Champions League in years gone by, but the defending champions will face stiff competition from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, and Barcelona this season.
Backing against Ronaldo and Real would be foolish though, given their recent record in Europe's top club competition. Madrid are booked into the next round, but their next opponent could already be one of the big sharks...
Only time will tell, but Ronaldo and co. look destined to challenge for glory once again, especially if they pick their form up in the second half of the campaign. Real cannot afford to be complacent though, or else risk falling short in the knockout rounds. That is where Ronaldo's class should shine through...
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid is on December 9 of 2017 against Sevilla. You can watch Juventus live stream, Real Madrid vs Sevilla, Villarreal vs Barcelona, Manchester United vs Manchester City, Tottenham vs Stoke City, and Newcastle vs Leicester City, all matches provided from our sports live game pages.
Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Sevilla kick-off time (09-12-2017):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 23:15
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 22:15
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+4.30: 19:45
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 16:15
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 15:15
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-2: 13:15
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 11:15
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 08:15
Sources: ronaldo7.net / realmadrid.com / theguardian.com / goal.com