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Cristiano Ronaldo, lethal when freed from his 'shackles'

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 1 4,310

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Ronaldo returns against Apoel. EFE

Cristiano Ronaldo, lethal when freed from his 'shackles'

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 1 4,310

When returning from an injury or a long-term suspension, Cristiano Ronaldo does so with a bang. Without going too far, this season he scored in the Bernabeu Trophy and on international duty with Portugal while serving his five-match ban for Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo has made it perfectly clear that he detests being away from the action. He got used to Zidane's rotation system, but every injury or ban can become a torture that only saw him return yearning to get back on the scoresheet.

Just this season, after seeing red at the Camp Nou, Ronaldo made the most of his opportunity in the Trofeo Bernabeu against Fiorentina. He then went on a goalscoring frenzy with Portugal at the expense of the Faroe Islands.

Looking back, only once has Ronaldo not returned in stunning form for Real. In his first season at the Bernabeu, he was out for up to 10 fixtures. When he finally returned, he went another two games without finding the back of the net.

Since then, it has been a whole different story. In the 2013/14 campaign, the Portuguese ace was sidelined for three matches following his dismissal at San Mames. Upon his return, he scored in up to eight consecutive matches.

That very same season, after a spell off the pitch, in which he even missed the Copa del Rey final ultimately decided by Gareth Bale, Ronaldo took it upon himself to score in his first three games back for Real, including the Champions League semi-final return fixture against Bayern Munich.

His latest absence came at the start of the 2016/17 season. A knee injury kept him away for the team for several weeks but, once he recovered, he announced his return with goals against Osasuna and Sporting Lisbon.

Patrick Power

Patrick Power

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