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The Portuguese and the Englishman have each scored 43 goals in 2017, with only Cavani, Lewandowski, and Messi finding the net more.

As the pre-match Champions League anthem fades from the speakers at the Bernabéu on Tuesday evening, two of Europe’s most potent marksmen will go head-to-head. Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane will both take to the turf having scored 43 goals this calendar year.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) has scored the same amount, Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) and Edinson Cavani (PSG) have scored one more, and Lionel Messi (Barcelona) occupies his own stratosphere 15 goals ahead.

Top goalscorers of 2017

 

Player

Country

Club

Goals

1

Messi

ARG

Barcelona

58

2

Lewandowski

POL

Bayern

44

Cavani

URU

PSG

44

4

Cristiano

POR

Real Madrid

43

Aubameyang

GAB

Dortmund

43

Kane

ENG

Tottenham

43

7

Dzeko

BIH

Roma

40

8

Mertens

BEL

Napoli

39

9

Falcao

COL

Monaco

38

10

Bas Dost

NED

Sporting

36

Ronaldo scored first LaLiga goal against Getafe

Despite Messi’s significant lead, Ronaldo and particularly Kane arrive in rich form. The Portugal international scored his first goal of the LaLiga season against Getafe on Saturday, ending an uncharacteristically-long barren streak. But beyond domestic competition, Ronaldo had already scored four goals in two matches in Group H of the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Harry Kane | Head-to-head

 

2017 calendar year

2017-2018 season

 

Ronaldo

Harry Kane

         

Ronaldo

Harry Kane

League

16

27

         

1

6

Champions League

14

5

         

4

5

International

11

7

         

4

4

Other competitions

2

4

         

1

TOTAL

43

43

         

10

15

Real Madrid’s No.7 has scored a record-breaking 109 goals in Europe’s most prestigious cup competition. Lionel Messi is in second place with 96 goals.

Spurs' Kane tops Champions League scoring

Harry Kane’s numbers are similarly vertigo inducing. The English international has scored nine goals in his last five matches for club and country, lifting his total to 13 goals for the fledgling season. The 24-year-old is the leading scorer in the Champions League with five goals, including a hat-trick against APOEL.

Top goalscorers in Champions League history

1

Cristiano Ronaldo

109

                       

6

Henry

50

2

Messi

96

                       

7

Ibrahimovic

48

3

Raúl

71

                       

8

Shevchenko

48

4

Van Nistelrooy

56

                       

9

Inzaghi

46

5

Benzema

51

                       

10

Drogba

44

Kane boasts a further six to his name in the Premier League, where he finished the 2016-17 season at the top of the chart with 29 goals.

Pochettino: Tottenham will take Isco's magic into account

A tough test await Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, and Mauricio Pochettino will have his players pay special attention to Real Madrid's magician, Isco.

The midfielder has finally carved out a place in the Los Blancos starting XI and the north Londoner's coach is under no illusions as to what he brings to the party.

"I think that he is one of the best and he is proving it," Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference.

"I have been lucky to have seen him playing for different clubs and he has always been a player with a capacity and creativity above average.

"He has reached his full potential at Real, and we will take that into account.

"We know all about his magic."

Spurs will be hoping that their own star man, Harry Kane, can do the business on the biggest stage, but Pochettino hinted that his future may not lie with his current employers.

"He is happy here, but in the future no one knows," he continued.

"He feels very identified with the club and was thrilled when he saw Totti's farewell in Rome.

"That generated a special emotion.

"I hope he is with us for many years because he is an example to follow for many of his teammates.

"[Zinedine] Zidane said that he is one of the best but Harry still has room for improvement."

Asked what tactics the visitors will employ, Pochettino was unequivocal in his response.

"We will be very positive," he noted.

"We have experienced players and will compete at the level of the best team in the world.

"It's a great opportunity for us to show our abilities."

Zidane: Isco is improving because he is very good, I like him a lot

Real Madrid were saved by Isco once again last weekend away at Getafe and Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for him when speaking with reporters on Monday.

The Frenchman hailed the No.22's improvement, as well as his versatility.

"[Explaining his improvement] is simple, as he's simply progressing naturally," Zidane said in the press conference ahead of Tuesday night's match against Tottenham.

"He knows that he is an important player for the club and whenever he has the chance to play he does it well and he improves every day.

"As for his position, the good thing about Isco is that he can play in several positions.

"It's better for him to be closer to the strikers, but he can also play as part of a midfield three and in other positions too.

"It depends on how we want to play and on who we're playing, but the most important thing is that he is improving because he is very good.

"I really like him because he is creative and always tries hard.

"I like players who try because they always end up having success."

Of course, when the topic of conversation turned to Tottenham, there was another in-form player to discuss, Harry Kane.

"We know that he is a good player and things are working out for him," Zidane said of the English striker.

"Tottenham is not just about Kane, though.

"They are a very good team and we'll prepare for them well."

As for the criticism that Real Madrid have received at various points this season, Zidane addressed that too.

"I cannot do anything about it and people can think and say what they want," he said.

"I try to do things the best way possible.

"People can think differently, but I'm not going to change what I want to do."

Morata boosts Chelsea ahead of Roma clash

Alvaro Morata is primed to lead Chelsea's attack against AS Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday as the Blues seek to quickly erase the embarrassment of their weekend loss to the Premier League's bottom club Crystal Palace.

The Spaniard missed the 2-1 defeat after injuring his hamstring against Manchester City before the international break.

But the 58 million-pound striker underwent full training on Sunday and Chelsea captain Gary Cahill indicated his return is imminent.

"He is back out on the pitch and hopefully he keeps progressing okay," said Cahill.

That will be welcome news to Chelsea manager Antonio Conte who substituted Morata's replacement Michy Batshuayi on Saturday after 57 minutes of his second league start of the season.

A nine-point gap separates Chelsea from leaders City but the Blues top their Champions League group, two points ahead of second-placed Roma, after winning both opening Group C games.

One of Morata's seven goals this season came in Chelsea's 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid, a result and performance that suggested the London club could be a real force in the competition.

But injuries are biting into a squad that has been criticised for being too thin, with deadline-day signing Danny Drinkwater still unfit and N'golo Kante, another hamstring victim, out for several weeks.

In the defensive midfielder's absence, Chelsea's defence was badly exposed on Saturday and Cahill is expecting a marked improvement on Wednesday.

"When you have had a bad result and a bad performance, you want to play again as soon as possible, which is midweek for us, to try to put it right," Cahill told the club's website.

"My role as a skipper now is to go into training and be positive and go again. The result is gone and you go in and you work and produce a performance on Wednesday that we know we can, get that winning feeling back and then we go from there."

Napoli owner wants top players rested against Man City

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis wants coach Maurizio Sarri to rest his top players for their Champions League match at Manchester City on Tuesday, saying they have other priorities.

Napoli lead Serie A after winning their first eight games and De Laurentiis suggested that Saturday's home league match against second-placed Inter Milan was just as important.

"I think that in this game, the players with more playing time should be rested in order to preserve them," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The Inter match is around the corner and it is just as important. We have to approach the Inter match in a more considered way," he added.

"In Europe, we should only worry about getting to the next stage, not about winning every match."

City lead Group F with six points from two games, followed by Napoli and Shakhtar Donetsk who have three each while Feyenoord have lost their opening two matches.

The top two in each group qualify for the last 16.

"I say that we need to evaluate everything and adopt the right strategy," De Laurentiis added. "I'm lucky to have a coach who's a great strategist."

Napoli's 'Mr 33' takes roundabout route to the top

Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City are the only clubs Pep Guardiola has coached during his illustrious managerial career.

Napoli's Maurizio Sarri, his opposite number in Tuesday's Champions League match against City, has taken a more roundabout route to the top with Sangiovannese, Arezzo, Avellino, Perugia, Grosseto, Alessandria and Sorrento among clubs on his CV.

Sarri, arguably the most entertaining team in Serie A, never played football professionally and did not make his touchline debut in Italy's top flight until the age of 55 after winning promotion with Empoli in 2014.

Known as "Mr 33", because he reputedly thought up 33 different plans for set pieces at Empoli, Sarri quickly innovated at Napoli by using a drone to film training sessions from above.

In just over two seasons, he has swept away the inconsistency which marked predecessor Rafael Benitez's spell at the club and brought out the best in players such as midfielders Marek Hamsik and Jorginho, who had struggled for form under the Spaniard.

Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain was another who flourished under Sarri, scoring a Serie A record of 36 goals in the 2015-16 season before being lured to Juventus.

"Sarri has been like a father," Higuain said at the time. "He emphasises my weak points; he immediately told me what he thought of me, both the good and the bad.

"But he has shown me all his faith. I appreciate the fact that he is an honest man who likes to see us play good football."

Napoli finished second in Sarri's first season in charge, in 2015-16, and could have won the title last season had it not been for a poor run of results just before Christmas. They finished third boasting the best scoring record with 94 goals.

Flying Start

Napoli have made a flying start this season, winning their first eight league games and scoring 26 goals in the process, suggesting they could end Juventus' run of six successive titles.

Sarri began coaching amateur teams in the 1990s, combining his hobby with a banking career that took him to the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

But, after leading Sansovino to the fourth tier at the start of the millennium, he decided it was time to make the leap.

"I understood that if I dedicated myself solely to coaching, I could get much better at it," he said. "It wasn't easy, but my family supported me."

He has since worked his way up from the lower tiers of Italian football. He led Sangiovannese to the third tier in 2004 and reached Serie B when he was appointed by Pescara the following season.

After coaching 16 clubs in just over 20 years, he made his big breakthrough by leading Empoli to Serie A in 2013-14.

Former Napoli hero Diego Maradona is among those who thought that his move to the club was a bridge too far.

"Sarri is a good person, but he's not worthy of Napoli," he said shortly after Sarri's appointment. "They needed a coach who understands the size and prestige of the club."

Four months later, the Argentina World Cup winner had changed his tune.

"I was wrong about Sarri," he said. "I ask for forgiveness."

Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City are the only clubs Pep Guardiola has coached during his illustrious managerial career.

Napoli's Maurizio Sarri, his opposite number in Tuesday's Champions League match against City, has taken a more roundabout route to the top with Sangiovannese, Arezzo, Avellino, Perugia, Grosseto, Alessandria and Sorrento among clubs on his CV.

Sarri, arguably the most entertaining team in Serie A, never played football professionally and did not make his touchline debut in Italy's top flight until the age of 55 after winning promotion with Empoli in 2014.

Known as "Mr 33", because he reputedly thought up 33 different plans for set pieces at Empoli, Sarri quickly innovated at Napoli by using a drone to film training sessions from above.

In just over two seasons, he has swept away the inconsistency which marked predecessor Rafael Benitez's spell at the club and brought out the best in players such as midfielders Marek Hamsik and Jorginho, who had struggled for form under the Spaniard.

Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain was another who flourished under Sarri, scoring a Serie A record of 36 goals in the 2015-16 season before being lured to Juventus.

"Sarri has been like a father," Higuain said at the time. "He emphasises my weak points; he immediately told me what he thought of me, both the good and the bad.

"But he has shown me all his faith. I appreciate the fact that he is an honest man who likes to see us play good football."

Napoli finished second in Sarri's first season in charge, in 2015-16, and could have won the title last season had it not been for a poor run of results just before Christmas. They finished third boasting the best scoring record with 94 goals.

Flying Start

Napoli have made a flying start this season, winning their first eight league games and scoring 26 goals in the process, suggesting they could end Juventus' run of six successive titles.

Sarri began coaching amateur teams in the 1990s, combining his hobby with a banking career that took him to the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

But, after leading Sansovino to the fourth tier at the start of the millennium, he decided it was time to make the leap.

"I understood that if I dedicated myself solely to coaching, I could get much better at it," he said. "It wasn't easy, but my family supported me."

He has since worked his way up from the lower tiers of Italian football. He led Sangiovannese to the third tier in 2004 and reached Serie B when he was appointed by Pescara the following season.

After coaching 16 clubs in just over 20 years, he made his big breakthrough by leading Empoli to Serie A in 2013-14.

Former Napoli hero Diego Maradona is among those who thought that his move to the club was a bridge too far.

"Sarri is a good person, but he's not worthy of Napoli," he said shortly after Sarri's appointment. "They needed a coach who understands the size and prestige of the club."

Four months later, the Argentina World Cup winner had changed his tune.

"I was wrong about Sarri," he said. "I ask for forgiveness."

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling says he is loving playing under Pep Guardiola for the Premier League leaders and admits that his life is also better for having tuned out critics on social media.

Sterling has scored six goals in five starts for City this season and has impressed with his overall contribution to Guardiola's prolific attack which has struck 29 goals in eight Premier League games.

Ahead of Tuesday's Champions League Group F clash with Italian Serie A leaders Napoli, Sterling said that Guardiola has undoubtedly improved him as a player.

"He has been massive for me especially with the basic and simple stuff and he always tries to get you do the simple stuff at a really top level and that is the genius thing about him and it works," said the England international.

"It is really enjoyable. We are defending with the ball, not just without it. It is a great team to be involved in, especially the attacking play. There are always chances to score. We just need to keep on building and continue this through the season," he added.

With City challenging for honours domestically and in the Champions League and with a World Cup in Russia at the end of the campaign this has the potential to be a defining season for Sterling.

"It is a massive year for me, for the team and I need to keep building, keep working hard and go to the World Cup on a positive," he said.

Sterling's inconsistent performances for England have made him the target of some critics in recent years, particularly after the exit to Iceland at Euro 201. But the former Liverpool winger revealed that he no longer pays attention to online comments.

"My first year here, being really young, I used to always be on Instagram, you see stuff pop up and check it out because you don't know any better.

"Since I have been getting those negative comments, I realise the best thing to do is not to look at it, that has been my thing for the last few years, don't look at it so it won't affect you," he said.

While Sterling has become an integral part of the City attack this season, there was speculation that he might have left the club in a swap deal with Arsenal for Alexis Sanchez.

Guardiola has denied that was ever a possibility and Sterling said the reports hadn't worried him.

"I didn't need to speak to him because I already spoke to him in the summer about pre-season. I didn't have any negative thoughts.

"I just woke up one day with England, seen it and didn't believe a word of it until I heard something from the manager. It wasn't something I was worried about because I think he is an honest guy I didn't need to worry about it and didn't think about it".

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