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Cristiano overtakes Messi again

The Portuguese star has now overtaken the Argentine with 244 goals in 222 games but is looking to drive more success for Real Madrid with renewed optimism.


After putting in possibly his best performance of the season in the 6-0 drubbing of Espanyol, Cristiano Ronaldo, is now the joint top scorer in the league with along with Luis Suarez with 19 goals. His hat-trick in a very one-sided game included a penalty – his fifth of the season against the single one for Suarez – and has helped him achieve better returns for Zidane than during the more challenging times with his previous coach, Rafa Benitez. Before the arrival of the Frenchman, Cristiano had notched-up 14 goals in 18 league games (plus 11 in the six Champions League group games), and since the change in manager he has scored five in four games (two against Sporting and three last night). Based solely on La Liga, Cristiano has gone from an average of 0.7 goals per game to 1.2 per game.

But that's possibly not the stat that he’s most proud of. Cristiano, who has individually outscored Betis (15) and Malaga (18) now has a league goal more than Messi in the whole time that the two have been playing as adversaries in Spain, according to AS data specialist Mister Chip. Since arriving in the league from Manchester United in the 2009-10 season, he has scored 244 goals in 222 matches while the Argentine has one less with 243. Ronaldo just can’t stop breaking records or outdoing football legends. With his most recent exhibition against Galca’s team it means he has bulged the net eight times in total versus Espanyol this season. This makes Madrid’s number seven only the second player to score as many goals against the same opponent in the same league after Zarra, who handed out the punishment to Lleida during the 1950-51 campaign. Quite an achievement.

Now the Portuguese talisman has a new obsession which will prove more important in the coming weeks. He has scored in ten league games, but hasn’t found the net in another 12. His goals have often not been the key to getting the three vital points to aid the title race for his team and this is where his apparent revival in attitude – clearly now more lively and optimistic – will be focused. His goal contribution, 30 in all competitions including seven penalties, is not in question. But after the win at Espanyol he acknowledged that both he and the team were heading in the right direction: "The team has been working very well together and in the last three weeks this has been good and the results too. We needed to work more. We now have a positive mindset. Preseason wasn’t so good, there were a lot of trips. I’m very happy with my goal tally but, above all, with the team. The goals will come naturally."

The two players, Ronaldo and Messi, who have been goal-machines for their respective Spanish clubs may continue to battle it out for the individual records but a renewed focus on team success over that of himself may pay dividends for Real Madrid.


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