Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo admits he has been below par this season, and says ‘personal problems’ have been to blame for his mixed form.
The Portuguese forward scored four times in Real’s 8-0 Champions League demolition of Malmo on Tuesday, taking his tally to 11 goals in this season’s competition, surpassing his own record of nine in the group stage, previously joint-held with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Luiz Adriano.
The 30-year-old has also reached double figures in La Liga, bagging ten goals in 14 matches so far, including five in the 6-0 win at Espanyol.
But Ronaldo has also endured his worst dry spell in a white shirt this season and some of his individual displays – notably in the back-to-back defeats to Sevilla and Barcelona last month – have fallen short of his astonishing standards, particularly in comparison to Barca’s devastating front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Ronaldo claims off-field distractions are to blame for his topsy-turvy performances at the start of the campaign but says the issues are now behind him.
“I’ve been below my level, but I’ve had things going on,” the former Manchester United player told reporters after the victory over Malmo at the Bernabeu.
“I’m happy with the situation now but at the start of the season I have had personal problems.”
Ronaldo, however, declined to add any detail, claiming “they stay with me.”