Cristiano Ronaldo hasn't exactly hit the ground running this season.
The Real Madrid superstar still looks favourite to procure this year's Ballon d'Or title but Lionel Messi has certainly acquired the initiative in 2016-17.
In a campaign that opened with a five-game ban, virtue of pushing the referee, Ronaldo is yet to register a goal in La Liga while Messi has accumulated nine. That's not to mention the fact Real Madrid are already seven points off the pace of Barcelona.
Consequently, the doubts surrounding Ronaldo have somewhat intensified. While the hate thrown in his direction never truly refutes his talent, they tend to cripple him with Messi comparisons or suggestions of a stagnation into his thirties.
The Portuguese usually has something to throw back at the haters, though, and this incident proved no different.
One way he achieved this came on the pitch and virtue of a resurgent performance versus Borussia Dortmund.
The 32-year-old produced a brace in Germany to boost his Champions League tally to four with Real enjoying far more success on the continental stage.
Ronaldo also had time to address the exit rumours that incited so much interest over the summer, too. He was believed to be unhappy at the Bernabeu in light of a perceived lack of support over tax avoidance allegations.
A Manchester United return was the most frequented rumour with Paris Saint-Germain also mooted as potential suitors.
It's fair to say he shut down the reports rather quickly.
When asked whether he had ever considered leaving the Spanish capital, he firmly responded: "Those words never came out of my mouth.
"People talk about me everyday all over the world, but I live for football and my family — not what is written about me in the press.
"Sometimes, it comes from Portugal, from Spain or from Germany.
"It is because the name Cristiano is world news. When you are great, people talk about you."
Consequently, Premier League fans shouldn't get too excited at the prospect of Ronaldo returning to English shores. In fact, it seems Ronaldo extending his deal with Real is the more likely solution.
"I am happy here, and things happen naturally.
"I am happy many of my team-mates, whose contracts were running out, have signed new ones."
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