Back in November, when he only had one La Liga goal to his name, Cristiano Ronaldo is said to have made an absolutely wild bet with his teammates at Real Madrid.
According to Marca, despite the fact that – for sake of narrative – his arch nemesis Lionel Messi already had 12 goals to his name at that point, Ronaldo wagered that he would end up winning the Pichichi regardless.
Named after Athletic Bilbao legend Rafael ‘Pichichi’ Moreno, a striker who scored absolutely loads of goals in the 1910s and 1920s, the Pichichi is the name of La Liga’s top goalscorer award as awarded by Marca from the early fifties onwards.
So, yeah, Ronaldo backed himself to outscore Messi despite his rival having an 11-goal lead three months into the season. Bold.
While Messi currently has 35 goals for the Blaugrana in all competitions, he only (“only”) has 25 in the league.
Ronaldo, having scored four against Girona on Sunday, now has 22 goals in La Liga, meaning he is an unanswered hat-trick away from drawing level with Barca’s goalscoring wizard. He is now second in the domestic scoring charts, with Luis Suarez third on 21 goals.
Real Madrid may trail Barcelona by 11 points in La Liga, but at least Ronaldo has hit form as they attempt to finish the season with a flourish.
Should Ronaldo overtake Messi before the end of the season, his November wager will probably go down as one of the boldest examples of ‘backing yourself’ in the history of Spanish football. Likewise, were he to finish the campaign as the league’s top scorer, he would win the Pichichi for the fourth time in his career.