England Championship

All eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo as scoring slump continues

MADRID (AP) The Spanish league is off to a tight race atop the standings, with five teams separated by only three points. Yet, most of the talk entering the weekend is about whether Cristiano Ronaldo will end his scoring slump.

Real Madrid leads the league ahead of its match at Alaves on Saturday, but not thanks to Ronaldo's recent performances. The forward is enduring his worst start to a season since joining Madrid in 2009, having scored only four goals in nine matches.

"When you're used to scoring almost 70 goals a season, it's almost like an addiction for goals," Madrid reserve forward Alvaro Morata said. "For us, he is the most important player in the team and I hope that he scores lots of goals, but he is not a machine. He is a human being. Even if he comes from another planet and is different, he also has the right to miss."