On a weekend to savour for strikers around Europe, Ronaldo followed the lead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi by plundering four goals in his side’s thrilling 6-3 win over Girona on Sunday.
His goal-fest against Girona lifted Ronaldo above Barcelona’s Luis Suarez as second top scorer in La Liga and he moved within three of Lionel Messi, his eternal rival for goal records and individual awards over the last decade.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is three goals from Leo Messi and I hope he can become the top scorer because it’s very important to him,”coach Zinedine Zidane said.
Ronaldo leads the way to Europe in current form, blasting in 21 goals in his last 11 games in all competitions. With 18 goals this year, Ronaldo has scored more times in the league in 2018 than Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.
The 33-year-old Portuguese also moved up to ninth in the list of top scorers in Europe, trailing front-runner Salah by six goals.
Ronaldo’s recent form is unrecognisable from his mediocre record in the first five months of the campaign.
Banned for pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup in August, Ronaldo missed Real Madrid first four Liga games and struggled to get up to speed on his return, ending 2017 with only four league goals to his name for the season.
“His form is outrageous,” Real Madrid defender Nacho said.
“It’s true that at the start of the season, given the amount of games he missed, he wasn’t very sharp. But that was strange. Right now he is helping the team a lot and we can all see the effect he is having on us.”
Ronaldo’s resurgence mirrors how he hit his peak at the back end of last season when, with the help of sitting out the occasional away game, he fired Real Madrid to a double of La Liga and the Champions League.
Their title hopes are long gone but they have every chance of winning a third consecutive European Cup. Real Madrid meet Juventus in the quarterfinals after dispatching Paris St Germain 5-2.