On Saturday the latest installment of El Clásico will be played at the Camp Nou, as Barcelona hosts Real Madrid with the home team sitting atop the La Liga table. Real Madrid, which currently has a streak of 31 consecutive matches without a defeat, is six points clear of Barcelona and a win for Los Blancos would tighten their grip on the top spot. Leading the way for Real Madrid is Cristiano Ronaldo, who along with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi rates as the best player in the world.
Here’s what you need to know about Ronaldo’s production in El Clásico.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo Ranks Third on the El Clásico Goals List
Only Messi (21 goals) and the late Alfredo Di Stefano (18) have scored more goals El Clásico matches than Ronaldo, who has a total of 16 in all competitions. Just eight of those goals have been scored in La Liga matches, with the most recent coming in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win at Barcelona during Week 31 of the 2015-16 season. All three goals in that match were scored after halftime, with Ronaldo’s goal in the 85th minute being the match-winner.
Ronaldo’s goal came by way of a cross from Gareth Bale, with the three-time FIFA Ballon D’Or winner controlling the ball with his chest then firing a right-footed shot past keeper Claudio Bravo.
2. Ronaldo Has Six Straight Seasons With At Least One Goal Against Barcelona
After failing to score in either El Clásico match during the 2009-10 season, his first at Real Madrid, Ronaldo opened his account in the rivalry on April 16, 2011 in a 1-1 draw at the Bernabéu. Ronaldo’s goal was a penalty scored in the 82nd minute, thus salvaging a draw for the home team. His first goal in El Clásico that would directly determine which club would win a trophy came just four days later, as his goal in extra time gave Real Madrid the Copa del Rey title. Ronaldo’s goal came in the 103rd minute, as he headed an Angel Di Maria cross into the net.
The two clubs would meet four times within a time span of less than three weeks as the 2010-11 season wound down, with Barcelona eliminating Real Madrid in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. Ronaldo did not score in either Champions League match between the two clubs.
3. Ronaldo Once Scored At Least One Goal in Six Straight El Clásico Matches
While Messi holds the record for the most goals scored in El Clásico history, it’s Ronaldo who sits atop the chart for the longest scoring streak. Beginning with his match-winning goal in the 2011 Copa del Rey final, Ronaldo scored at least one goal in six consecutive El Clásico matches in Spanish competition (La Liga or Copa del Rey). During that run Ronaldo scored seven goals, which included two in the first meeting between the teams during the 2012-13 La Liga season (Messi also scored twice in the match).
The streak would come to an end in the next meeting between the two sides, which was the first leg of the 2013 Copa del Rey semifinals. Ronaldo would score two in the second leg to help advance Real Madrid to the final.
4. Ronaldo is Tied For Second in Most El Clásico Goals Scored in the Copa del Rey
Of Cristiano’s 16 El Clásico goals, five have been scored in Spain’s Copa del Rey competition. After scoring the match-winning goal in the 2011 Copa del Rey final Ronaldo scored in both legs of the 2012 Copa del Rey quarterfinal tie, with Barcelona advancing by an aggregate score of 4-3. Barcelona, which won the first leg at the Bernabéu by the score of 2-1, managed to hang on after goals from Ronaldo and Karim Benzema erased a 2-0 lead in the second leg.
Ronaldo would score two more goals in the second leg of the 2013 Copa del Rey semifinals, leading Real Madrid to a 3-1 victory at the Camp Nou. Madrid advanced to the Copa del Rey final as a result of winning the two-legged tie 4-2 on aggregate. Los Blancos would drop the final to Atletico Madrid, 2-1 after extra time, with Ronaldo scoring their lone goal.
5. Ronaldo Scored Once in Two Meetings Last Season
The visiting side won both meetings in La Liga play last season, with Barcelona winning the first 4-0 and Real Madrid gaining a measure of revenge with a 2-1 win at the Camp Nou. Ronaldo was one of the goal scorers for Real Madrid, which bounced back to take all three points after a Gerard Pique header in the 57th minute gave Barcelona a 1-0 lead. Real Madrid would pull level on a spectacular Karim Benzema goal five minutes later, and it would be Ronaldo who determined the outcome with his goal in the 85th minute as mentioned above. While Messi is the most prolific goal scorer in the history of El Clásico, Cristiano Ronaldo has been the more productive goal scorer in recent matches.
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