Despite winning the last two editions of the Champions League, Real Madrid have come under increasing scrutiny for their performances this season, both domestically and in Europe. Due to their recent results, online sportsbooks in Spain and across the continent are not backing them to win the elite competition for the third time in a row, but as we know from before anything can happen in the Champions League.
It’s “Old Money” v “New Money” in the Champions League this week
Real Madrid will go up against Europe’s nouveau riche club PSG in the last 16 at the Bernabeu this Wednesday, which is one of the first high-profile games of the knockout phase of the Champions League.
But doubts have been raised over Ronaldo’s form this campaign, however it’s wise to noting he suffered a similar drop in form last season but then went on to be instrumental for Los Blancos. During the 2016/17 super successful season, he still managed to bag 42 goals overall that helped the club clinch their first La Liga crown since 2012 and more importantly defend their European title – this made them the only side to have won back-to-back Champions League trophies in the modern format of the competition.
On the other hand, numbers for this season don’t lie; Ronaldo has found the back of the net only 11 times in 18 La Liga appearances, while across all competitions his tally stands at a modest 23 goals in 28 outings. Normally, these would be pretty solid stats for any other player, but Ronaldo is not just “any other player” so that’s what we mean when we say “modest” numbers considering his stature.
Ronaldo is still the big-game player, boss says
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has nonetheless heaped praise onto the Portuguese maestro that has just recently turned 33 years of age (February 5, 1985) by stating Ronaldo is looking forward to showcasing everyone that he’s still one of the finest players around and can’t wait to take on their upcoming opponents in the Champions League.
Real Madrid’s defence will face a tough battle against these three strikers (source: Onefootball)
“Right now Cristiano is more motivated than ever and eager to demonstrate things,” stressed the Real Madrid manager. “He has always proved himself in big games.”
Zidane also added that meeting PSG – a tough side to beat nowadays – so early in the competition is a serious challenge for his side, but believes his group of players can move things forward, regardless of how things end up for this campaign.
“We have to think we can do things well. I have a very good squad and we are going to try with this challenge that we have. The season will end in one way or another, but we know we can take things forward. I love when fans are with us and I know they will be there until the end.”
Currently, in the Spanish championship Real Madrid are trailing 17 points behind leaders Barcelona, with a game in hand. So it’s no surprise providers of internet betting in Spain have crossed them out completely of having any chances for domestic glory. The Champions League is also tough, especially since they’re gearing up to face PSG so soon. Bet365 Sportsbook has given them 5th favourite odds 9.00 (8/1) to win the competition, right behind Barcelona with odds of 6.50 (11/2).
(Take a look at Bet365 Sportsbook review for more info about the online betting site.)