Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed another prolific season at Real Madrid, yet the Portuguese has fallen short of his usual standard of goalscoring.
Indeed, as La Liga’s season finale nears – Real play Villarreal this weekend before taking on Liverpool in the Champions League final next week – Ronaldo has scored 25 goals, his joint-lowest return in a league season since he joined the club in 2009.
Ronaldo also scored 25 last season, though there is the caveat that this season also marks the Liga campaign with the least minutes. Even if Ronaldo completes the full 90 this weekend, he will have played just 2,230 minutes this term.
Nevertheless, his tally falls way short of the heights of 2014-15, when he netted 48 La Liga goals. Apart from the last two seasons, the last comparable one would be 09-10, when he joined Real, as he hit just 26 goals before acclimatising to life in Spain.
Perhaps his diminished return can be explained by the fact he has taken just 173 shots, the second-lowest number in his Real career, though his goals-per-minute ratio (one every 89 minutea) is better than 2010 and 2016.
Strangely, Ronaldo has yet to score from outside the box in La Liga this season, despite his reputation as a fearsome long-range striker. Compared to 2009-10, when he scored 19 per cent of his goals from outside the box, the statistic stands out as anomalous.
Of course, that also means that Ronaldo has not scored a free-kick for the first time in an entire league season. However, his numbers from dead balls have always been low – he scored just two in 2015 and 2016, and one in 2017.
While he has sometimes been labelled ‘Penaldo’ by rival fans, Ronaldo has also scored just three penalties this season, compared to 12 in 2012.
And though always seen as two-footed, Ronaldo has scored 56% of his goals with his right foot. And he has netted just four headers.
Of course, he will hope to pad out the numbers against Villarreal this weekend as Real tune up for the Champions League final.
In fact, Ronaldo has enjoyed more success in Europe, scoring 15 goals in just 12 games, notching at least one in every game leading up to the semi-finals. As a crumb of comfort for Liverpool, Bayern Munich were able to nullify the 33-year-old in both legs of their semi-final encounter, though they remain the only team to do so this season.