Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible goalscoring record is made all the more impressive when you consider that he plays out on the wing.
The Portuguese star has scored 371 goals for Real Madrid and, after penning a contract extension until 2021, what’s to say he won’t reach close to 600?
By Ronaldo’s standards, seven goals in 12 games to begin the season represents a slow start. He took a while to recover from the injury he picked up in the Euro 2016 final but a brace against Latvia last week, as well as a hat-trick in Madrid’s win over Alaves last month, hints that he’s back to his best.
Zinedine Zidane will need the 31-year-old to shine when Los Blancos take on rivals Atletico Madrid in Saturday’s highly-anticipated derby.
Diego Simeone’s team have posed a real threat to Real and Barcelona in recent years - indeed, the Bernabeu outfit haven’t won at the Vicente Calderon in their last six attempts - and few will be surprised if Atleti emerge victorious.
Zidane is facing some injury problems ahead of the game and they could force him to start Ronaldo in a different position to the one he is used to.
Alvaro Morata is out for a month while Karim Benzema is facing a fight to be fit. As a result of Madrid’s depleted forward options, Marca claim that Ronaldo could occupy the No. 9 position with Lucas Vazquez replacing him on the left.
Either that or Gareth Bale will play on the left with Isco or Vazquez moving to the right wing.
Ramos and Modric could play
A fitness update on Madrid’s website confirmed the status of some of their key players, with Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric on schedule to play.
"Real Madrid players completed their second session of the week four days ahead of Saturday's game at the Vicente Calderon," the statement said.
"Karim Benzema, Casemiro and Pepe trained separately from their teammates, whilst Gareth Bale and Mateo Kovacic trained indoors. Sergio Ramos and Modric once again trained with the group."
Griezmann is healthy
Where Real have been dealt a rotten hand, Atletico have received a big boost with the news that Antoine Griezmann is set to play.
The French star suffered a bruised foot on international duty but he was a full participant in training on Thursday.
Antic: Kroos' absence is a problem
Former Atletico coach Radomir Antic believes Real’s plethora of injuries could hurt them.
"Real Madrid don't have the time to prepare for this derby," Antic told Omnisport, via Goal.
"Most of the players were away with their national sides.
"Secondly, it's a major inconvenience for Real Madrid - the fact that they have players that have just returned from injury.
“[Toni] Kroos' absence will be another new problem as they don't have a similar player able to cover his spot. That's why I think that in this precise moment Real Madrid - despite being leaders - have many questions marks around them."
What's your prediction for the Madrid derby? Let us know in the comments section below!
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