The NBA’s MVP posted a picture of him alongside the Real Madrid star to his Instagram, with the caption “Nights like this…”
In light of Cristiano Ronaldo’s €112 million transfer to Juventus, Real Madrid’s main concern – even over the lost of their most marketable asset – is the void he leaves in the goals scored column.
The Portuguese was a goal-machine in his nine years at the Santiago Bernabeu and left the club as their all-time leading scorer.
His incredible tally of 450 goals in just 438 games boggles the mind and confirms his place among Madrid’s greatest players. His legend will live long into this storied club’s future.
New manager Julen Lopetegui will look around at the talented group of players at his service and know that it’s unlikely any will be able to replicate the 50-goals-per-season output that Ronaldo phenomenally delivered.
In fact, Karim Benzema is the next in line for goals scored. With 192 strikes in 412 games, the misfiring striker has more goals than any other player at the club while no one betters his average of 0.46 goals per game.
The Frenchman boasts an output of 21 goals a season but only managed 12 across all competitions last term.
Gareth Bale however, matches Benzema’s goals ratio with 0.46 per game as well but that rate has been compiled only over the last five seasons during which he’s scored 88 goals.
There’s then a huge gulf between the Welshman and Marco Asensio who is the next in line with 21 goals in 91 games at a rate of 0.23 per game. The Spaniard is then followed by his compatriots Isco (0.17 per game) and Lucas Vazquez (0.11 per game).
With Ronaldo gone though, Benzema can be more focused on scoring himself rather than creating opportunities or space for the Portuguese’s benefit. That should help the 30-year-old rediscover his best goalscoring form.
Meanwhile, Bale should see more chances come his way as well and is likely to establish himself in the first XI – a position he was often denied in the previous couple of seasons.
However, it would be ideal if Madrid signed a new striker as well as another goalscoring attacking midfielder or winger to give them a boost especially with rumours of Napoli targeting Benzema doing the rounds.
Jay Asser and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, pictures, comment and analysis on Real Madrid.
Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the day but we want you to get involved, too.
Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.
21:30pm – Courtois reportedly agrees Real Madrid move
Read more, here.
20:50pm – Hernandez could leave the Bernabeu this summer
Read more, here.
17:00pm – Report: Zidane set to join Juventus as sporting director
Read more, here.
2:48pm – Ronaldo speaks on link with Lionel Messi
Others may view the relationship between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as a rivalry of superstars, but the new Juventus man doesn’t see it the same way.
Check out the video of Ronaldo talking about Messi during unveiling for the Italian giants.
1:33pm – Ronaldo embracing ‘brand new challenge’ following Madrid exit
Despite leaving behind a memorable tenure at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo said he’s “not sad” to be in his new home in Italy.
The Portuguese star is eager to begin the next chapter of his career with Juventus, a club he believes offers him a “brand new challenge”.
12:28pm – Bale to become Madrid’s next talisman
Bale’s future with the Spanish giants was unclear before Ronaldo decided to bolt for Juventus, but the superstar’s departure has left a void that the Welshman may be looked upon to fill.
Read more about Bale potentially staying at Madrid here.