Ronaldo extends Real Madrid contract and his barren streak

MADRID • Cristiano Ronaldo agreed a contract extension - until 2021 - with Real Madrid on Sunday, but the Portuguese could not celebrate the new deal by scoring against Leganes in the Spanish Primera Liga that day.

It was the fifth game the forward had gone without finding the net at the Bernabeu, his longest run without a goal in front of Real's fans since he joined the Spanish club in 2009. It is now almost two months since the 31-year-old last scored at Real's home ground.

On the other hand, fellow forward Gareth Bale scored a brace in Real's 3-0 win over Leganes as Ronaldo managed zero shots on target and was booked for shouting at referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.

Bale scored with Real's first two shots on target and tested Leganes goalkeeper Jon Serantes on six occasions, reported ESPN.

Following his superb goal in last week's 3-3 Champions League draw at Legia Warsaw, the Welshman has now scored three times in two games since signing his own contract extension last week.

The Guardian has suggested that Bale is now Real's best-paid player, and some Spanish pundits have said he has been the team's "leader" during Ronaldo's poor run of form.

But Real striker Alvaro Morata does not agree.

The Spaniard told the media on Sunday: "(Ronaldo) is not a robot. If he was, he would score five goals in every game, but he is a great player - for me, the best."

The new deal will give Ronaldo an increase on his current salary, estimated to be €21 million (S$32.3 million), making him the highest-paid player at Real. But he is in danger of being replaced by Bale as the club's star.

Speaking after Sunday's game, Real's director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno said: "He (Bale) has physicality, manages the ball, scores goals. He is fundamental (for us)."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Ronaldo extends Real Madrid contract and his barren streak'. Print Edition | Subscribe