Cristiano Ronaldo

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Zidane anxiously awaiting goals from Ronaldo

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MADRID (AP) For Zinedine Zidane, the Madrid derby on Saturday is just what Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema need to break their scoring slump.

The Real Madrid forwards have been struggling in the Spanish league, with just two goals between them.

Ronaldo, while striking six times in the Champions League, has tallied only one in seven Liga appearances.

Benzema is having an even tougher time, with just two in 12 matches across all competitions.

“It’s true that this is not normal, but they just need to keep training and keep trying as they have been doing,” Zidane says.

“You don’t need to tell Karim and Cristiano that they should train more, it’s something they do. They will go out on the pitch and score, I am sure of it.”

Over his career, Ronaldo has thrived against Real’s crosstown rival, Atletico. He holds the record for the Spanish capital derby with 21 goals.

Benzema’s performances, however, have not been as impressive, with three goals in his last 14 league matches against Atletico.

Zidane says Ronaldo and Benzema focused on recovering their scoring form last week during the international break, when they stayed at the club instead of joining their national sides.

“We have been working on it,” he said. “What I want is that my players, my forwards, play well, and tomorrow is a good match for them to keep trying.”

Their scoring droughts have contributed to Real’s irregular season.

Real is in third place and level on points with Atletico, which is fourth after having trouble winning at its new Wanda Metropolitan Stadium.

Both sides need a victory to keep pace with leader Barcelona, which visits Leganes hours earlier.

If Barcelona wins, Madrid and Atletico will be staring at an 11-point gap by kickoff.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birth of baby girl

Photo credit: Cristiano Ronaldo / @Cristiano
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MADRID (AP) Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has announced that he is the father of a baby girl.

Ronaldo posted a photo Sunday on Twitter of him with the baby’s mother, Georgina Rodriguez, and his oldest son in a hospital in Madrid.

The Real Madrid and Portugal forward accompanied the image with the message written in Portuguese: “Alana Martina has just been born! Both Geo and Alana are fine! We are all very happy!”

The baby is Ronaldo’s fourth child. He had two children earlier this year, reportedly through a surrogate mother.

Ronaldo made his relationship with Rodriguez public last year.

Spurs cruise past Real Madrid at Wembley (video)

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
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  • Spurs clinch knockout round berth
  • Dele bags brace
  • Spurs to Dortmund on Nov. 21
  • Real travels to APOEL

Dele Alli scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur dismantled two-time reigning UCL champs Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.

Christian Eriksen scored off a Harry Kane feed to clinch the result and crown Spurs’ place in the knockout rounds.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 80th minute to spoil Hugo Lloris‘ bid for a clean sheet.

[ MORE: Thundering Tottenham dares Wembley to dream ]

Spurs took a hit just after the 20-minute mark, as center back Toby Alderweireld pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury following a 50-50 tussle with Casemiro.

Moussa Sissoko entered the match, and Eric Dier dropped to center back.

Spurs soon had their break through, as a Kieran Trippier cross slid past Marcelo and Sergio Ramos, and Dele outstretched Nacho to push the ball over the line.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ] 

Ronaldo manufactured a pair of chances around the half hour mark, forcing a corner kick from Hugo Lloris before hitting a low shot into the arms of the stooping French goalkeeper.

Kane challenged Kiko Casilla twice as well, the second a bouncing effort in the 36th. He’d have another chance after Sissoko flubbed a gorgeous chance to make it 2-0, but Sergio Ramos blocked the effort.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Dele had a second on an intelligent, daring dribble that culminated with a shot deflected by Sergio Ramos and beyond Casilla.

The hour mark showed just how out of form Real is these days, with Ronaldo missing a pair of terrific chances. The last turned into a goal mouth scramble with several squandered opportunities.

Spurs made it 3-0 on an outstanding counter attack, with Kane showing tremendous patience and better touch on a pass to cue Eriksen up for his first.

Cristiano Ronaldo captures Best Male Player at FIFA awards

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The yearly debate as to whom the best player in the world is won’t be settled in the minds of fans across the globe, but on Monday, FIFA gave its two cents.

Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo took home Best Male Player honors at the FIFA Best awards, beating out Lionel Messi and Neymar for the title.

[ MORE: Mbappe wins Golden Boy award, beats out Pulisic, others ]

Meanwhile, all three superstars were named in the FIFA Best XI for the year, alongside the likes of Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Andres Iniesta.

Here’s a look at some of the other winners from Monday’s FIFA awards.

Best Male Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

FIFA World XI: Gianluigi Buffon; Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Leonardo Bonucci, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar.

FIFA Men’s Coach of 2017: Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

Puskas Award for Best Goal: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

Best Female Player: Lieke Martens (Netherlands)

The Best: Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi — Is there a front-runner?

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While¬†France Football has its Ballon d’Or winner somewhere on a 30-man shortlist, FIFA’s “Best” men’s player is down to an unsurprising three ahead of Monday afternoon’s ceremony.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar are up for the award, and there was no major summer tournament outside of the Confederations Cup — only Ronaldo participated — to help tilt the scales in one’s favor this summer.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Of course, Ronaldo claimed another UEFA Champions League crown, but was far from the simple standout of the club. In international play, both Ronaldo and Messi’s World Cup qualifying campaigns came down to the wire while Neymar captained Brazil’s dominant ride through CONMEBOL.

The award, which is said to be for on- and off-field behavior, was voted on by national coaches, national captains, select members of the media and fans.

Ronaldo is the favorite according to hardware, while Messi’s numbers and Neymar’s playmaking both can lay claim to the throne.

Stats since start of 2017

Lionel Messi

Club goals: 46
Club assists: 16
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 4
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Neymar

Club goals: 24
Club assists: 21
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 2
Country assists: 3
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Cristiano Ronaldo

Club goals: 31
Club assists: 7
Country caps: 11
Country goals: 11
Country assists: 4
Accolades: Confederations Cup semifinal, World Cup qualifier, Champions League winner, La Liga winner

Follow @NicholasMendola