No pain, no gain for Cristiano Ronaldo

Perhaps inspired by the goal-scoring return to fitness of his Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo has offered a glimpse of the dedication that helped him to become one of the best players in the world.

The Portugal star has not been able to get on the scoresheet in either of Madrid's last two matches, but he played a key role in the 3-1 first-leg victory over Napoli in the Champions League's round of 16, before completing the full 90 minutes of a 2-0 LaLiga win at home to Espanyol.

Having recovered from the ankle injury that had sidelined him since November, Bale - who enjoys a friendly rivalry for a share of the spotlight with his iconic team-mate - came off the bench to net the second goal in that league victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

But Ronaldo, famed for his dedication to physical fitness, will not be easily outshone by the Wales forward.

While the majority of us might choose to relax at home with family on a Sunday evening, the 32-year-old was undertaking his own individual exercise regime, ahead of joining his team-mates in preparing for a trip to face an improving Valencia in LaLiga on Wednesday.

It remains to be seen if going the extra mile will enable Ronaldo to break his mini drought in front of goal at Mestalla this week.
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