2020 has been 12-month ups and downs for Real Madrid.
The club won their 34th La Liga title – and the first in three years – in July (Gareth Bale could hardly contain his joy), before suffering an unconvincing start to the 2020/21 La Liga campaign and almost s’ crush group stages of the Champions League. for the first time in their history.
They didn’t, they’re from Real Madrid, they ended up qualifying for the last 16, leading the group and hijacking the disaster entirely.
Pressure had mounted on boss Zinedine Zidane, but Real recorded five straight league wins in December – including a win over rivals Atletico Madrid – to move up the table. Heading into 2021, they are two points behind their La Liga-top rivals City, but have played two more games.
However, for the first time in 13 years, Real have failed to score more than 100 goals in a calendar year.
Their target for 2020 was 91 – nine fewer of the 100 they hit the year before.
2007 was the last time Real failed to hit a triple digit in a calendar year – they won La Liga under Fabio Capello in the 2006/07 campaign but suffered early, the last 16 outings in Champions League and Copa del Rey.
What is most noticeable when looking at the number of Madrid’s annual goals is the startling difference Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence made.
In every full year the quadruple Ballon d’Or winner was at the Bernabeu, Real have consistently scored over 140 goals a year. The annual peak came in 2014, when Los Blancos scored a staggering 178 goals.
In the absence of Ronaldo, Real have never scored more than 110 goals in a season.
It’s not very deep, but when a player who consistently scores more than 40 goals per calendar year is taken out of a team, that team scores around 40 fewer goals. Mathematics.