Ronaldo On Track To Beat Messi’s Record Of 73 goals In A Season

Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi continue to exchange heavyweight blows in their relentless pursuit of records.

During a remarkable spell in November, the Argentine scored successive trebles to become the all-time top scorer in both La Liga and the Champions League, beating his great rival to Raul’s mark in the process.

Last weekend, both hit incredible domestic milestones. On Sunday, Messi became the first player to reach 400 goals in La Liga with a hat-trick in the derby against Espanyol. Less than 24 hours earlier, Ronaldo had scored a treble of his own to bring up a personal tally of 200 in Spain’s top flight.

While the former Manchester United man might trail the South American in Primera Division strikes, he has established himself as the favourite to win the 2014 Ballon d’Or thanks to a remarkable domestic scoring streak.

In his 13 league appearances this season, Ronaldo has been shut out only by Malaga. While this in itself is a staggering statistic, the sheer weight of goals from the 29-year-old is even more astounding. He has 23 to his credit at a rate of close to two a game.

Throw in four more goals in the Champions League and another two from the Uefa Super Cup, and Ronaldo is on course to break Messi’s record of 73 club goals in a single season.

When that was achieved by the Argentine in 2011-12, it was a total that seemed impossible to reach. Although the Portuguese has played 21 times already this season, there are still potentially a further 40 games in which he could feature, should Madrid go all the way in the Copa del Rey, Champions League and Club World Cup.

Ronaldo’s current strike-rate equates to 1.38 goals a game. If he was to maintain that standard for the duration of a 61-match campaign, he would finish 2014-15 with 84 club goals.

“Ronaldo is doing very well at that moment, he is extraordinarily motivated and physically he is at his peak,” coach Carlo Ancelotti said of his star man at the weekend.

Of course, it is impossible for even a player of Ronaldo’s standard to remain in prime condition over the course of an entire season – and there is also the possibility of injury, too.

The Portuguese has given himself a healthy margin for error, however, as he chases down perhaps the most remarkable record in the modern game.  

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