Cristiano Ronaldo has been a hit at Juventus, there’s no doubt about that, but his goalscoring stats pale in comparison to the numbers he posted during his illustrious spell at Real Madrid.
In nine seasons at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo scored a remarkable 450 goals in 438 games. An extraordinary return that will probably never be repeated.
However, the Portuguese superstar – who turned 34 last month, remember – has ‘only’ managed to score 21 goals in his first 35 matches with Juve.
Of course, it’s important to note this is his first season in Italy. Adjusting to a new league can be a little tricky, even for a player of Ronaldo’s calibre and experience.
And because of his age, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that his goals-per-game stats are beginning to decrease. Even Cristiano can’t go on forever.
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Nevertheless, Ronaldo is still in contention to finish his debut season in Italy as Serie A’s top scorer.
He currently sits joint-second in the charts, alongside AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek and one behind Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella, who has netted 20 so far this term.
Ahead of Juve’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Atletico Madrid, Ronaldo has told the Spanish media that the Italian league is, in his experience, the hardest of Europe’s leagues to score goals in.
He even rates it as a tougher league to score goals in than the English Premier League.
“In my opinion, in the Italian league it is more difficult to score than in the Spanish league,” Ronaldo is quoted as saying by Marca. “The Spanish league is more open, the teams risk more, the priority here is to defend well and then attack.
“In Spain it is not like that, it is always open game.”
He added: “I also played in England for five years and I think the league in which it is more difficult to score is the Italian one.”
Ronaldo managed to bag 118 goals – 84 of which were scored in the Premier League – during his six seasons with Manchester United.
But he believes that in terms of difficulty to score goals, Serie A leads the way.
He also told Marca that he feels “happy” in Italy and playing in such a competitive league.
“The balance is very positive,” he continued. “I feel good at the individual level, I feel adapted to the Italian league and it is a difficult league, in my opinion, the most difficult for the strikers, a league with a lot of quality. I did not expect the Italian league to have this quality, I am happy, my family and my children are happy, everything is positive.”
Looking back at his time so far in Italy, Ronaldo added: “We adapt well, my family likes Italy, it is a different reality, a different country, a different language and culture but I have adapted well.
“I have always lived away from home since I was 11 years old, so I have no problems adapting to another country. I went to England with 18, to Madrid with 25 and to Turin with 33. It is not difficult for me to adapt to a different country or culture “