Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s failure to cash in against Bayer Leverkusen has effectively handed the Champions League top scorer prize to Cristiano Ronaldo, who surely won’t miss out when Real Madrid take on Schalke in the next round of matches.
The impressive ten strikes the mercurial Swede has amassed is only one fewer than the 11 notches on CR7’s bedpost, but the Paris St-Germain talisman missed his chance to claim the accolade by drawing a blank in the second-leg of his side’s last-16 success.
At a shade shy of 1/2, the time is now to wade in on the Portuguese goal-machine to outscore the continent’s elite this term.
He bagged two in the first-leg as Los Merengues decimated Schalke 6-1 in Gelsenkirchen and will be looking to put daylight between himself and Zlatan in the scoring standings by filling his boots in the return fixture.
Since serving a recent La Liga suspension, the 29-year-old has returned to score four goals in his last three, including his aforementioned brace.
Furthermore, he hasn’t missed out on a goal at the Bernabeu in all of the games he’s featured in since Los Blancos lost 1-0 to city foes Atletico earlier in the campaign.
He’s netted 15 times in eight home outings since, almost at a rate of two goals per appearance.
A pair of strikes against Schalke next time will take him to 13 for the season in this competition, three clear of Ibra on the same number of games played.
As part of the Real side that reached the previous three Champions League semi-finals, Ronaldo’s goals have been key for his side in the latter stages.
The past two campaigns saw him net four in the quarters and semis, while he got two across the same four games in 2010/11.
If his scoring trends come back to haunt opponents again this time around he’ll finish on 17, a total that no one has ever got near in the tournament’s history.