Real Madrid’s domestic season in 2017/18 was to be forgotten. Los Blancos’ less than impressive defensive record in La Liga led to a third place finish at the end of a campaign totally dominated by Barcelona.
But there was no fault of Zinedine Zidane’s side for the entertainment value and world-class footballers in sight, nothing more than Real’s 6-3 victory over Girona on March 18, 2018 – a show stolen by the enigmatic Cristiano Ronaldo.
As the tie approached, Girona found itself as La Liga’s surprise package, seventh in their very first top flight. Real Madrid, on the other hand, have been through a rough patch, taking fourth place and quickly losing ground in the title race.
A good time for your main man to score four goals in one game? I think so.
Things couldn’t have started better for Los Blancos. It only took Ronaldo 11 minutes to score his first game, as he swept a Toni Kroos cut-back into the far corner of the goal.
Lucas Vazquez had the ball in the net in the 22nd minute before being ruled out for offside and, instead, it was the visitors celebrating. Cristhian Stuani (yes, that one) headed perfectly at home after a cross from Alex Granell to equalize and bring the teams to the break tied.
It’s in those kinds of situations that you desperately need a talisman, a player who can decide a game with the click of your fingers, a Ronaldo. And whether it was simply an absolute astonishment of Zidane or just the genius of the Portuguese wonder that influenced the second half, we’ll never know.
But anyway, it worked. Boy, it worked.
It only took Ronaldo three minutes after the restart to secure his brace and set the tone for a meteoric second period, categorically crushing a Karim Benzema through the ball via below the bar – my God, these have looks adorable.
Just ahead of time, Ronaldo became a supplier – yes, he even added an assist to his numbers for good measure – as Vazquez coldly ended his layoff. The Real talisman didn’t have to wait long for the hat-trick, however, tapping into a 64th-minute rebound to make it 4-1 in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.
Stuani headed for another – bet you thought he would never score a brace at the Santiago Bernabeu as he lined up at Middlesbrough, eh – before Gareth Bale and Juanpe put the score at 5-3 before downtime.
Ronaldo had the last laugh, eventually hitting Kroos once more for his 91st minute poker pass and keeping the celebrations to a minimum – there were only four, after all.
While it was a match that really pointed out Real Madrid’s defensive weaknesses at the time – they finished the season comfortably with the worst defense in the top four – and couldn’t even inspire them to make the top two, it also demonstrated their relentlessness and their exciting enthusiasm in the future. , led by the indescribable quality of Ronaldo and simply bolstered his status as one of the greats.
Performances like his four goals and assist against Girona in March 2018 have been pivotal for Los Blancos throughout his career in the Spanish capital, nine illustrious years in which he won 15 team honors and, of course, four. of his five Ballon d’Or awards.
In the 2017/18 season, Ronaldo would strike 26 times in La Liga, and his tally of 44 would lead Real Madrid to their third consecutive Champions League title before saying adios to Los Blancos and joining Juventus.