Something is surfacing in the centre of Europe. A sleeping giant whose hands and feet cannot be contained by the Schalke 04 players before he awakes at the Veltins Arena. Cristiano Ronaldo has returned.
The Champions League returns as does Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid commander returns to the ranks to lead the attack for Ancelotti‘s soldiers in a land where the team has failed again and again in its desire for conquest.
And he will do so with the anger accumulated during three weeks’ suspension in La Liga, only playing in two games – the Copa del Rey semi-final games against Atlético.
Having served his three-match ban in La Liga, the Portuguese comes back into the team for the start of the European competition‘s Round of 16. He makes his return for a round in which he has flourished over the last two years. In fact, he has scored in four consecutive matches in this stage of the competition.
In 2012 Real Madrid breezed past CSKA Moscow in the Round of 16. The Whites drew 1-1 in Russia thanks to a goal from Cristiano, who was also the star of the show in the Santiago Bernabéu, scoring two of the four goals that would secure the side’s passage to the quarter-finals. Last season it was Manchester United who suffered the wrath of the Portuguese striker. He got the equaliser (1-1) at home and scored the Whites’ second in Old Trafford, which decided the tie (1-2).
Nine goals in this 2013/14 season’s competition
Aside from his recent performances in the Round of 16, it is worth remembering that Cristiano has already scored nine goals in this season’s Champions League. A figure that smashed the previous goal-scoring record in the Group Stage of the tournament.
The Portuguese is having his best goal-scoring season and must now make up for lost time after serving his ban. He is still the Pichichi (top goalscorer) in La Liga with 22 goals, but Ibrahimovic‘s two goals against Leverkusen oblige him to score to recover the lead on the continent. In Champions League against Schalke, he will be looking to increase that number and help his team reach the quarter-finals.
It will be the first time Ronaldo steps foot in Gelsenkirchen, and he is keen to score in Germany. Since he joined Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo has only failed to score against Dinamo Zagreb.