Focus on Ron as Real face German test
DORTMUND: Disgruntled Cristiano Ronaldo could make more Champions League history on Tuesday as his Real Madrid side look to end their losing streak at high-flying Borussia Dortmund.
A hat-trick for Ronaldo in Dortmund, who was left fuming after being substituted on Saturday, would see him become the first player to score a century of European goals.
Ahead of the flight to Dortmund, Real coach Zinedine Zidane subbed Ronaldo for the final 20 minutes of Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Las Palmas.
The Portuguese superstar was furious with the decision, storming off the field without acknowledging Zidane.
It did nothing to help his mood when Las Palmas equalised five minutes from the end.
Madrid fans have backed Zidane over his handling of the club’s all-time top scorer with 83 per cent supporting his decision in a poll carried out by Madrid sports daily AS.
Ronaldo’s free-kick equaliser in Real’s 2-1 comeback win against Sporting Lisbon in their first Group F, the same night Dortmund won 6-0 at Legia Warsaw, left him on 97 goals in European club competition
His main rival in the race to 100 goals is Barcelona’s star Lionel Messi, who has 89.
But Borussia want to maintain their unbeaten home record against Real, who have won just four times in 29 away games against German clubs.
Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park stadium has particularly bad memories for Madrid, who have lost their last three visits to the Bundesliga giants.
Their 2-0 defeat at Dortmund in the 2014 quarterfinals came a year after their 4-1 thumping in the 2013 semifinals when Robert Lewandowski scored all four goals for Borussia. They also lost a group stage game 2-1 at Dortmund in 2012.
Real’s serene run since Zidane took charge in January has hit a slump in the past week.
The European champions dropped points against Villarreal and Las Palmas to snap a 16-game winning streak in the Spanish league.