StoryHow Many Goals Will Cristiano Ronaldo Score in La Liga This Season?

Cristiano Ronaldo had a year to remember in 2016. The 31-year-old won the Champions League with Real Madrid last season and then the European Championship with Portugal in France in the summer. In December, Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon d'Or 2016 and a month later he was voted as The Best FIFA Men's Player.

Ronaldo may be 31 years of age and there are signs that he is not the player he was when he arrived at Madrid back in 2009 - he does not run too much and he does not dribble past players - but he is still the best player in the world alongside Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

In recent years, the former Manchester United star has developed into a goal machine. During the 2014-15 campaign, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in La Liga - more than any other footballer. The player found the net 35 times in the league last season, while so far this term he has scored 12 goals.

Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are ahead of Ronaldo in the goal-scoring chart in La Liga at the moment, but it would not be unwise to make a punt and predict that he could surpass them and win the Trofeo Pichichi for the fourth time, especially for those who are betting for the first time and can get free bets when opening a bookie account. With Madrid having played 17 matches in La Liga so far this season, there is still time for Ronaldo to hit the 40-goal mark. Given that he has played only 13 league matches and still has 12 goals, if he stays fit and plays regularly, then he could end up with more than 40. Below we predict the La Liga matches in which Ronaldo could score and how many.

January Fixtures

Madrid will face Malaga and Real Sociedad in their final league matches in January, both at home (Saturday 21 and Sunday 29 respectively). Zinedine Zidane’s side should be able to win against Malaga, and one should not be surprised if Ronaldo scores a couple. After all, Malaga have conceded 31 goals in 18 league matches so far. Sociedad are challenging for a top-four finish in La Liga this campaign, and Los Blancos would find it hard to win against them. Could Ronaldo score? Probably, but it is going to be hard.

Prediction: Two goals against Malaga, none against Deportivo La Coruna

February Fixtures

Winning against Celta Vigo away from home is not going to be easy for Madrid, even though the Galician outfit are not great defensively. Ronaldo will fancy his chances, but one suspects that Celta will have someone marking him. Then comes the match against Osasuna, again away from home. Given that Petar Vasiljevic’s side are favourites to go down, the Portuguese forward should be relishing the prospect of scoring at least thrice. Zidane may not allow him to play the entire 90 minutes against Osasuna due to the subsequent Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against Napoli, so expect Ronaldo to miss out on a hat-trick.

Espanyol are a tricky team, and winning at the Santiago Bernabeu could be difficult for Madrid. After all, Quique Sanchez Flores’s side held Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw away from home at Vicente Calderon Stadium in December. The visitor from Barcelona is certainly going to have special plans for Ronaldo.

Madrid will end the month of February with back-to-back away games against Valencia and Villarreal. Valencia are struggling for survival and have a very weak defence - they have conceded 33 league goals - and Ronaldo will certainly be able to tuck in a goal or two. It is going to be very hard against Villarreal, who have conceded only 12 goals - the lowest in the division. Madrid could actually fail to score a single goal at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Prediction: None against Celta Vigo, Two against Osasuna, One against Espanyol, Three against Valencia, None against Villarreal

March Fixtures

La Palmas are probably doing better than expected this season and will relish the chance of locking horns with Madrid away from home. Ronaldo will not find it easy, but the former United star should still be able to score twice. Another brace against Eibar on the road should follow and then two against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu. It is going to be a hostile performance at San Mames, but Ronaldo should still be able to find the net at least once against Athletic Bilbao.

Prediction: Two against Las Palmas, Eibar and Real Betis, one against Athletic Bilbao

April Fixtures

Madrid are a far better team than Alaves, and they should be able to pick up all three points from the encounter with ease. Zidane’s team could win by a big margin at the Bernabeu, and Ronaldo could bag a hat-trick. Leganes away? Another big win for the 2016 Champions League winners and a double for the 31-year-old. The Madrid derby against Atletico at the Bernabeu on the weekend of April 8-9 is going to play an important role in the title race. In November 2016, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Diego Simeone’s side at the Calderon, but lightning doesn’t strike twice? Or does it?

Sporting Gijon are at the wrong end of the table, and the Madrid superstar will certainly want to bag at least two goals in order to enhance his chances of finishing as the top scorer in La Liga. El Clasico against Barcelona at the Bernabeu is going to be tough, but Ronaldo has a strong record in the historic fixture - he has scored 12 goals and provided one assist against Barca. Expect the 31-year-old to find the net at least once against Luis Enrique’s side and then twice against Valencia at home in the final league match of April.

Prediction: Hat-trick against Alaves, Two against Leganes, One against Atletico, Two against Sporting Gijon, One against Barcelona, Two against Valencia

May Fixtures

Granada are in real trouble, and there is a very good chance that come the end of April they could already be relegated from La Liga. Whether Ronaldo plays in this game will depend on where Madrid are in the league and their Champions League progress, but if he does feature in the starting line-up, then he should bag at least two goals.

Title challengers Sevilla play some superb and attacking football, which leaves them vulnerable at the back, which in turn means that Ronaldo should be able to find the net on one occasion at least. The final La Liga game of the season is against Malaga away from home. Expect Ronaldo to end the campaign with a brace.

Prediction: Two against Granada, One against Sevilla, Two against Malaga

If our prediction comes true, then Ronaldo would end up with 43 goals in La Liga this season. That is quite a good tally by anyone’s standards, but would it be enough to win him the Pichichi Trophy? Probably. True, Messi and Suarez will also score goals regularly as the season progresses, but Ronaldo is hungrier than those two when it comes to scoring goals. A bit selfish perhaps, but that is what makes the Portuguese an all-time footballing great.