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2020 has been a year of ups and downs for Real Madrid.
The club claimed its 34th La Liga title, and its first in three years, in July (Gareth Bale could barely contain his joy), before enduring an unconvincing start to the 2020/21 La Liga campaign and nearly collapsing in the group stage of the Champions League. for the first time in its history.
They did not, it is Real Madrid, they ended up qualifying for the round of 16, leading the group and completely deflecting the disaster.
The pressure had mounted on manager Zinedine Zidane, but Real Madrid recorded five straight league wins in December, including a win over rivals Atlético de Madrid, to climb the table again. Heading into 2021, they sit two points behind their City rivals at the top of La Liga, but have played two more games.
However, for the first time in 13 years, Real Madrid have failed to score more than 100 goals in a calendar year.
Their goal for 2020 was 91, nine less than the 100 they reached the previous year.
2007 was the last time that Real Madrid failed to triple figures in a calendar year: they won the League with Fabio Capello during the 2006/07 campaign, but suffered the last 16 starts in both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
The most remarkable thing when studying Real’s annual goals is the surprising difference that Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence made.
During each full year the four-time Ballon d’Or winner was at the Bernabéu, Real consistently scoring more than 140 goals per year. The annual peak came in 2014, when Real Madrid scored a staggering 178 goals.
In Ronaldo’s absence, Real Madrid have never scored more than 110 goals in a season.
It’s not very deep, but when a player who routinely scores more than 40 goals per calendar year is removed from a team, that team scores about 40 fewer goals. Mathematics.