Cristiano Ronaldo must put Real Madrid before himself this season

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Cristiano Ronaldo's Spanish dream is almost at an end.

With the all-time Real Madrid scoring record in sight, the Portuguese could leave the capital at the end of the current campaign as a hero. The highest-ever scorer of goals in Real Madrid's history.

He has already taken Raul's crown as the player with the most goals in the history of European competition and he certainly isn't done there yet.


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His haul for Real is likely to stand the test of time and we can't forget that he has taken six years to get to a total that took Raul 15.

The goals to games ratio is really quite astonishing if you break it down. There's hardly a week that goes by without Ronaldo being on the score sheet.

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That said, he hasn't managed to find the net on the first two match weeks of the 2015/16 La Liga, and as the second game against Real Betis drew to its conclusion, he began to look more and more desperate to add to his tally.

This season, Rafa Benitez has changed things around a bit and Ronaldo is no longer the focal point. He remains a key component in the Madrid front line but Benitez can obviously see the benefits of Karim Benzema being the out and out striker and Ronaldo more a creator this season.

It might not sit well with the ex-Manchester United man, but Ronaldo can do more harm than good to the team dynamic if he doesn't take on the new responsibilities with good grace.

If you watch either of Real's first two games of the season back again, you'll notice Ronaldo throwing his hands up in disgust at every wasted opportunity. He'd do well to remember that half the time he wasn't actually in a good enough position to receive the ball.

Less than a dozen goals separate him from history so there really is no need to be in such a rush.

Messi the man

Perhaps the fire continues to burn so brightly because not a year after Ronaldo was celebrating La Decima and another Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi trumped his nemesis in every way possible bar the amount of goals he scored in all competitions. 

The Argentine is a certainty for an unprecedented fifth Ballon d'Or come January and that is like a red rag to a bull for Real Madrid's finest.

But the absolute desperation in his play needs to stop. Now.

He's simply no good to Real Madrid when playing with such a single minded attitude. Benitez simply won't stand for that.

Steven Gerrard noted long before now that the studious Spaniard isn't one for indulging egos and will clamp down on anyone - Ronaldo included - if he isn't getting the type of ethic and commitment that he expects from his staff.

No one need doubt Ronaldo's commitment to the cause but it's how it manifests itself that could continue being a problem.

Changing times

This isn't the right time for individual posturing or sulking. So Benzema might end up with the Pichichi award for most goals in a La Liga season this year. So what?!

If Ronaldo has played his part in ensuring silverware for the club he'll be much better thought of as he departs, rather than a striker who was hell bent on taking all of the plaudits himself.

It's the football equivalent of growing old gracefully.

The times, they are a changing at the Santiago Bernabeu. It's time Ronaldo changed with them.

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Cristiano Ronaldo
La Liga
Real Madrid

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