Cristiano Ronaldo's sister, Katia Aveiro, has stepped in to defend her superstar brother from the barrage of criticism he has received this year after badly struggling to find the net in La Liga.
As a team, a struggling Real Madrid have scored 32 times in 18 league games this season, making them less prolific in front of goal than Real Betis, Celta Vigo, Real Socieded (all 33) and Valencia (40), while fierce rivals Barcelona have hit the net on 20 more occasions.
Ronaldo himself, while top scorer in the Champions League with nine goals in six games, has managed a paltry tally of just four goals in his 14 appearances.
At his current rate of scoring, the 32-year-old might just reach double figures. To compare, his least prolific La Liga season at Real to date (2016/17) saw him net 25 times in 29 appearances.
The last time he failed to score double figures in a league campaign was more than 10 years ago in 2005/06 when a 21-year-old Ronaldo netted nine Premier League goals for Manchester United.
Taking to Instagram, Katia sought to remind Ronaldo with a lengthy post of all the previous occasions that people have tried to bring him down, only for him to consistently defy his critics time and time again.
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ERA SÓ ISTO QUE TE QUERIA DIZER, CRISTIANO Quando aos doze anos chegaste a Lisboa, carregado de lágrimas e de esperanças, eles disseram que eras só mais um miúdo madeirense. Em menos de cinco anos estavas a jogar na equipa principal do Sporting. Quando fizeste os primeiros jogos com os seniores, eles disseram que eras só mais um puto habilidoso. Alguns meses depois assinaste pelo Manchester United. Quando chegaste a Inglaterra, eles disseram que eras só uma promessa. Em seis épocas fizeste 118 golos. Quando o Real Madrid te contratou, eles disseram que eras só um nome para vender camisolas. Desde 2009 já marcaste 422 golos em 418 jogos e já bateste praticamente todos os recordes que tinhas para bater no clube. Quando em 2008 recebeste a primeira Bola de Ouro, eles disseram que ia ser só essa. Já ganhaste mais quatro. Quando te tornaste capitão da selecção, eles disseram que eras só mais um capitão sem carisma, sem espírito de liderança. Em 2016 foste o primeiro português de sempre a levantar a Taça de Campeão Europeu de Selecções. Agora, que não marcas como um extraterrestre há dois ou três jogos, eles dizem que és só mais um jogador em fim de carreira, quase acabado, a dar as últimas, na curva descendente. Não te preocupes. Quando sorrires com um troféu na mão no alto de uma Torre Eiffel desta vida, ou quando marcares mais um golo decisivo, ou quando bateres mais um recorde, vais tê-los lá a olhar-te, atentos. A aplaudir, claro. Coitados. É só o que lhes resta. Com estima e agradecimento, Pedro.. @pedrochagasfreitas #orgulho #aindatensnaisparafazer #coitadoselesnãosabemnada #calmaosfilhpsdedeussemprebrilham #deusnocomando🙏
"When you came to Lisbon at the age of twelve, full of tears and hopes, they said that you were just another Madeiran kid. In less than five years you were playing in the main team of Sporting," she wrote on the social platform.
"When you played the first games with the seniors, they said you were just another skilful f*ck. A few months later you signed for Manchester United.
"When you arrived in England they said you were only a prospect. In six seasons you scored 118 goals.
"When Real Madrid signed you, they said you were just a name to sell jerseys. Since 2009 you have scored 422 goals in 418 games and you've practically beat all the records you had to beat the club.
"When you received the first Ballon d'Or in 2008, they said it was going to be just that. You've earned four more.
"When you became captain of the national team, they said that you were just another captain with no charisma, no spirit of leadership. In 2016 you were the first Portuguese ever to raise the European Championship trophy.
"Now that you do not score as an extraterrestrial there are two or three games, they say you are just another late-career player, almost finished, to take the last, down the curve.
"Do not worry. When you smile with a trophy in hand at the top of an Eiffel Tower of this life, or when you score another decisive goal, or when you break another record, you will have them there watching you, attentive. To applaud, of course. Poor people. That's all they have left."
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