'Ronaldo will deliver for Real when it matters' - Alonso expects titles to calm critics

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The Portuguese forward has been uncharacteristically inconsistent this season, but a former team-mate is expecting him to lead another trophy charge

Cristiano Ronaldo remains a talismanic presence at Real Madrid and will deliver in “the decisive moments of the season”, says Xabi Alonso.

Ronaldo 10/11 to be CL top scorer

The Portuguese superstar has faced criticism this season on the back of an uncharacteristically inconsistent opening to the 2017-18 campaign.

Having seen a five-match ban deny him the chance to build early momentum, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner did not register his first La Liga goal until October 14.

Ronaldo has, however, still managed to find the target 11 times in 16 appearances this term and is being backed to lead another trophy chase at Santiago Bernabeu.

"As always, I'm sure he will be there at the decisive moments of the season, with desire and enthusiasm to continue scoring goals and winning titles,” former Madrid midfielder Alonso told Marca.

Ronaldo is the not only one to have come under fire this season, with Real having endured their fair share of struggles as a collective.

Xabi Alonso Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid decisive

The reigning La Liga champions and holders of the Champions League crown have slipped eight points adrift of Clasico foes Barcelona in the domestic title race and only reached the last-16 in Europe as runners-up in their group behind Tottenham.

Alonso, though, believes that the Blancos will be in contention when the top prizes are handed out, with there still a long way to go and plenty of twists and turns to be taken in.

The World Cup winner added: "I'm optimistic because the team and the players are very good.

“Football is a lot to do with mental state. Barcelona have dropped another two points and have to come to the Bernabeu. Also, the second part of the season can start in a very different way. If that happens, the league is alive again. These things happen."

Alonso hopes Real can get back on track, as he considers criticism of Ronaldo and Co to have been unnecessary.

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He also retains unwavering faith in Zinedine Zidane, with the Frenchman still considered to be the best man to guide the club forward.

"He has great merit,” said Alonso.

“How he has managed everything, having the players focused in important moments. It comes from winning the Champions League and titles. I don't understand the pessimism that exists there."

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