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26th Aug 2018

Richard Keys’ misjudged tweet about Cristiano Ronaldo backfires

Robert Redmond

“Ronaldo would usually have about 178 goals by now!”

Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus from Real Madrid in a deal worth €100m just after the World Cup, bringing an end to his nine-year spell with the Spanish giants. During his time with Madrid, Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 games and helped them win the Champions League four times.

He may be 34 in February, but Juventus are banking on him being the key differential as they seek to win their first European Cup since 1996. Unlike Richard Keys, the Italian champions are unlikely to be concerned that Ronaldo has failed to score for the club so far.

The former Manchester United forward fired a blank in his first two games for Juventus. He couldn’t find the net against Lazio on Saturday in Juve’s 2-0 win and failed to score in the 3-2 win away to Chievo last weekend.

According to Keys, Ronaldo would usually have scored “about 178 goals” by this stage of the season.

The former Sky Sports presenter appeared to suggest that Ronaldo’s lack of goals in Italy conveys that it is easier to score in La Liga.

However, unfortunately for Keys, the fact Ronaldo has failed to score in Italy so far this season doesn’t mean a lot in the wider context. He has scored 638 goals for club and country in his career. He will score goals for Juventus and score a lot of them, particularly in big games near the end of the season.

There also isn’t a lot to be read into the respective merits of La Liga or Serie A by Ronaldo’s lack of goals so far. As pointed out by several people, the forward didn’t score a goal in his first three games of the La Liga season last year and got just one goal in his first eight games.

He went on to score 26 goals in 27 league games, and 44 goals in 44 appearances, as Madrid won the Champions League.

It appears that it takes time for Ronaldo to hit top form in a league season, not that he was playing against significantly weaker defences in Spain last year.

Keys is the Cristiano Ronaldo of getting things wrong on Twitter. The beIN Sports presenter has a habit of making poor calls.

Like when he tipped Everton to finish above Liverpool last season.

Or when he questioned why Wayne Rooney had been dropped by Manchester United.

Or when he contradicted a human rights researcher on conditions in Qatar for migrant workers.

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