Check out any Ronaldo news article or video on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - wherever - and chances are you’ll see the ‘Penaldo’ nickname featuring prominently.
But perhaps those who call Ronaldo ‘Penaldo’ are on to something. UEFA Champions League posted an eye-opening statistic on their official Facebook page earlier today: Ronaldo has scored more penalties than any other La Liga player over the past four seasons - a total of 27.
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However, the stat is not all that shocking when you consider Real Madrid have almost certainly attacked more than any other team - perhaps with the exception of Barcelona - over the past four seasons.
Los Blancos spend the majority of most matches inside the opposition’s half of the pitch and have subsequently been awarded a significant number of spot-kicks since 2011.
Ronaldo shouldn't be criticised for scoring penalties
That Ronaldo manages to convert a high proportion of them shouldn’t be used as a weapon to criticise him. Reliability from the penalty spot is important and the Portuguese star’s conversion rate from 12 yards is better than Messi’s ratio.
The Telegraph revealed in October that 81 of Ronaldo’s 501 career goals had come from the penalty spot - which is, admittedly, a fairly high number.
However, the same study found that a higher number of Ronaldo’s goals (84) had come from outside the box.
Ronaldo remains capable of the odd screamer
There’s no doubt that Ronaldo has become more of a goal poacher in recent seasons but, as he displayed against Espanyol at the weekend, he remains capable of scoring the odd wonder goal even though he’s days away from his 31st birthday.
Is it harsh or fair to call Cristiano Ronaldo ‘Penaldo’? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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