Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said people write off Cristiano Ronaldo at their peril after the Portuguese forward struck twice in the 5-0 drubbing of Sevilla on Saturday as the La Liga champions and their prolific scorer roared back to life.
Ronaldo has been widely criticized in Spain for his domestic form this season and before the game with Sevilla he had only scored twice in the league, his lacklustre form mirroring Real’s feeble defence of the title they won so convincingly last May.
Ronaldo was crowned world player of the year for a joint-record fifth time on Thursday and showed off his shiny Ballon d‘Or trophy on the Bernabeu pitch before kickoff and when the game began he appeared to have an extra spring in his step.
He latched onto a through ball from Marco Asensio to confidently sidefoot the ball inside the near corner to score Real’s second goal midway through the first half and then powered home the third from the penalty spot, his shot bouncing under Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico.
“It has been a perfect week for him and I hope he continues at this pace, although I already said you have to be careful with him,” Zidane told a news conference.
Ronaldo also scored in Real’s 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday to become the first player ever to score in all six Champions League group games in one season.