As Real Madrid get set for another assault on Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, it could be just another one of those days when Cristiano Ronaldo proves his mettle in a big game yet again. It isn’t as if this will happen for the first time, but Ronaldo has become an expert in scoring against big games in the Champions League these days.
While the season for the Portuguese talisman started off on a disappointing note, Ronaldo has showed big signs of regaining his lost form. The fact that he has found the back of the net as many as 14 times in the last eight outings in all competitions for the La Liga giants, shows that the time couldn’t be any more appropriate for Ronaldo to get back to his brilliant best.
It is obvious that he isn’t the player that he was during his Manchester United days; he doesn’t dribble past players and leave you dazzled. He’s just about scoring and doing the job that matters. That quality of his has played an ever vital role in handing Real Madrid two consecutive Champions League titles.
His performances from the quarter-finals onwards during last season’s Champions League handed the Los Blancos so many goals. He scored for fun against Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and in the final against Juventus. Rather, no matter how good or bad Ronaldo does in the La Liga, he always seems to find his rhythm in the Champions League, which is more about progressing than getting points on the board. The approach required in the Champions League is pragmatic and Ronaldo has been blessed to have managers who prefer the pragmatic approach to the game. Be it Mourinho, Benitez, Ancelotti or Zidane himself.
And when PSG step foot onto the Parc des Princes grass on Tuesday, they’d have to be very much wary of the man who ran riot in the first leg. One swing of either of his feet can leave their hopes of qualifying dashed.