CL: Leicester City's star scorer Jamie Vardy has hit downward spiral
Leicester City talisman, who scored 24 goals last season, appears to have lost a little of his stardust ahead of Club Brugge's visit today
Jamie Vardy. Pic/Getty Images
London: Twelve months on from his record-breaking Premier League scoring streak, Leicester City talisman Jamie Vardy appears to have lost a little of his stardust. Last November, Vardy set a new record by scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League matches, but ahead of Club Brugge's visit in the Champions League today, he has gone 13 club games without a goal."
Vardy's struggles in front of goal have mirrored Leicester's slump to 14th in the league table and prompted former England striker Alan Shearer to suggest he may have lost some of his famous hunger. "Jamie is going through a goal drought and is not going to get out of it by sulking, because that is what he looks like he is doing at the minute," Shearer wrote in The Sun recently.
'Jamie is not doing enough'
"He is not doing what he did last season and causing defenders enough problems. He is making it easy for them. There is a lack of effort there. You have to work hard to get to the top, but you have to work even harder to stay there," he wrote further. Vardy, who turns 30 in January, finished last season on top of the world after his 24 league goals fired Leicester to their astonishing 5,000-1 title triumph. But the close season brought with it a period of soul-searching after Arsenal triggered a release clause in his contract with a 22 million pounds bid.
The speculation dominated England's preparations for Euro 2016 and although Vardy ended up turning Arsenal down, instead signing a new four-year deal with Leicester, he found little solace in France. He failed to dislodge Harry Kane from England's starting XI and scored only once, in a group-stage win over Wales, as Roy Hodgson's side were humiliatingly eliminated by Iceland in the last 16.
Vardy returned to Leicester to find the club gearing up for a campaign in which they would be viewed as the team to beat, rather than relegation fodder as they had been 12 months previously. No longer able to count on opponents underestimating his team and coming out to attack, manager Claudio Ranieri added variety to his attacking options with moves for Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani.
Ron's Euro homecoming
Cristiano Ronaldo takes on his first professional club Sporting as a champion of Europe with Real and Portugal and is widely expected to pick up his fourth Ballon d'Or. He will doubtless receive a hero's welcome on his return to the Estadio Jose Alvalade. Ronaldo's hat-trick this weekend, his 39th for Real, delivered a 3-0 away win at Atletico Madrid despite the visitors missing six key players in captain Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Alvaro Morata and Karim Benzema.
Champions League holders Real won the reverse fixture 2-1 and are unbeaten in 29 games in all competitions. All Zinedine Zidane's men need here is a point to secure passage to the next round, but with Dortmund top of the group by two points Real will want to hunt them down as a point of pride, and to earn an easier draw in the next round.
No. of games Vardy has gone without a goal
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