Ron eyes record at Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (far left) taking part in a training session before his side's Group F Champions League clash against Real Madrid today.
Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (above) taking part in a training session before his side's Group F Champions League clash against Real Madrid today.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

He could be the first to score 100 European goals, if he scores a hat-trick in today's clash

DORTMUND • Disgruntled Cristiano Ronaldo could make more Champions League history today as his Real Madrid side look to end their losing streak at high-flying Borussia Dortmund.

A hat-trick for the Portuguese forward, who was left fuming after he was substituted by Real coach Zinedine Zidane during Saturday's 2-2 Spanish league draw at Las Palmas, would see him become the first player to score a century of European goals.

The 31-year-old's free-kick equaliser in Real's 2-1 comeback win against Sporting Lisbon in their first Group F match, 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 Real, who have lost their last three visits to the Bundesliga giants.

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.

Confidence is high in the Dortmund camp. After their shock 1-0 defeat at newly promoted RB Leipzig a fortnight ago in the Bundesliga, Dortmund have netted 20 goals in the four games since.

They are second only to Bayern Munich in Germany's top flight.

Friday's 3-1 win at home to Freiburg was exactly the warmup Dortmund needed, according to coach Thomas Tuchel.

"After the high-scoring and cosy easy games, that came at the perfect point in time," he said.

Dortmund's main injury concern is Marc Bartra, who has a groin injury. Real will be without Brazilian duo Marcelo and Casemiro.

Casemiro's absence means ex-Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos will be forced to operate as the holding midfielder on his return to Germany.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2016, with the headline 'Ron eyes record at Dortmund'. Print Edition | Subscribe