Time to bench Cristiano? The proof that Ronaldo is no longer undroppable at Madrid

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The Portuguese has had a torrid time in the Primera Division this term, scoring only four goals in the competition so far. Perhaps be needs a break...

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 422 times for Real Madrid and 289 of those goals have come in La Liga. This season, however, the Portuguese has netted only four in the Primera Division and, as a result, Zinedine Zidane's side are well off the pace.

After winning a Liga and Champions League double in 2016-17, Madrid were expected to dominate – especially after they started the current campaign by beating Manchester United and then Barcelona to claim two more trophies in August.

Ronaldo's stunning strike at Camp Nou in the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa looked like evidence that the Portuguese was raring to go again following a difficult summer, which included allegations of tax fraud and the revelation that he had wanted to leave Real.

However, a red card in Barcelona and a subsequent push on the referee saw the 32-year-old banned for five matches and, despite scoring regularly in the Champions League and then in the Club World Cup on his return, he has consistently struggled to convert in La Liga.

Ronaldo has played 14 times for Real in the Primera Division this term, featuring for 1,246 minutes in total, but of his 94 attempts on goal, only just over a third (32) have been on target and only four have ended up in the back of the net.

Cristiano's first of the season in La Liga was a winner from close range against Getafe in mid-October, but even that came after he had fired wide from just a few yards out with the goal at his mercy, a miss that brought plenty of derision from rival fans on social media.

His next goal was the winner in a 3-2 victory for Madrid at home to Malaga, the Portuguese slotting home at the second attempt after his penalty had been saved by goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner then netted two more as Real thrashed Sevilla 5-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in December. One of those was also a spot-kick, meaning he has scored just twice from non-penalty situations in La Liga this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo stats La Liga

Fresh speculation over a new contract and reports that he is thinking of leaving Madrid may be on his mind. And whatever it is, the Portuguese is clearly not quite right at the moment.

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"We know that people can talk and debate outside of the club but we think Cristiano must just think about playing, as he has always done," Zidane said this week. "And I just want to talk about this, what he can bring to the team, that's all."

In La Liga, the 32-year-old has also picked up two assists, while he leads the Champions League scoring charts with nine goals in the group stages. Overall, he has netted 16 in his 24 appearances this season, which is still an impressive return.

But his struggles in the Primera Division are alarming and a spell out of the side could do him good. On current form, Ronaldo is no longer untouchable at Real Madrid. Maybe not undroppable, either.

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