Madrid still missing goal scoring void left by Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese striker turns 36 today and has hit the target 87 times for Juventus since his move from Real Madrid in the summer of 2018.
Cristiano Ronaldo packed his bags in the summer of 2018, leaving Real Madrid for a move to Serie A giants Juventus and the Santiago Bernabéu side have never been able to fill the void left by his prowess in front of goal. Only Karim Benzema has been prolific for Madrid in this time but the Frenchman has been alone in goal-getting for the LaLiga side. In the seasons since Cristiano's departure (2018-2019 and 2019-2020), Real Madrid have scored 175 goals. This contrasts with the two campaign's before the Madeira born striker's exit (2016-2017 and 2017-2018), where the club bagged 300 (173+127).
A decision was made to sell Ronaldo for 100 million euro with the club unwilling to meet his wage demands (the striker was demanding 30 million (net) per season) which club executives was excessive for a 33-year-old at the time. Despite the player being well into his 30s, he has maintained the hunger to find the net bagging 87 goals for the Serie A side. His first campaign in Italy saw the striker hit the target 28 times with his following season the Portuguese international on target 37 times. The 2020/21 season has seen Cristiano strike 22 times and his goals against Inter in the Italian cup this week, sees the forward become the highest goalscorer in the history of the game with his 763 career total surpassing that of Josef Bican (759), Pelé (757) with Lionel Messi (on 721) his closest active rival with the Argentine some 42 goals behind the Juve man.
Cristino has maintained that he intends to play at a high level through to the age of 40 and his ongoing statistics reveal the goalscoring vacuum he left behind in the Spanish capital.
Benzema aside, the likes of Bale, Asensio, Vinicius, Lucas, Rodrygo, Isco, Mariano, Hazard, Jovic and James have all failed to step up to the mark and these player have only managed a total of 81 goals, seven less than CR7's single handed haul.
The cases relating to Jovic and Hazard have been particularly hard-hitting with Real Madrid making big money moves for both men in 2019 in an attempt to fill the gap left by Cristiano and with just six combined goals in 67 games has been a disaster for the Bernabeu side.
Only Karim Benzema has proved effective in a striking capacity bagging 72 goals since Cristiano's departure and this season has been responsible for 32% of Madrid's goals (15 from 47). Without any clear striking support, the French forward continues to improve with age and recently wrote another page in the Real Madrid history books after he overtook Roberto Carlos as the foreign player with the most appearances for the club with this record set to be extended as his current deal with the club expires in June 2022.