Turkish Football News

Clash of the titans - Cristiano Ronaldo vs Burak Yilmaz

2013-03-28 14:02:41

The Champions League competitions top scorers Cristiano Ronaldo and Burak Yilmaz go head to head

The Champions League quarter-final clash between Galatasaray and Real Madrid will see the competitions joint top scorers Cristiano Ronaldo and Burak Yilmaz go head to head.

Ronaldo leading the scoring table won't come as much of a surprise however, his challenger may.

Burak had been tipped as one of Turkish football's brightest prospects as a youth however, took a while to find his feet.

After unsuccessful stints at Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe many had begun to lose faith in Burak. The Turkish international striker had been used as a winger, midfielder and even at right-back.

It wasn't until Trabzonspor manager at the time Şenol Güneş took Burak under his wing that he started to live up to his billing. Burak finally got his chance to play as a striker and didn't disappoint.

The 27-year-old striker guided the Black Sea giants to pole position in the 2010-11 league championship scoring 19 times - Trabzonspor only lost out on winning the title to Fenerbahçe that season on goal difference.

The Turkish international striker then went onto break the clubs all time scoring record in the 2011-12 - scoring 35 times, 51 per-cent of Trabzonspor's 65 goals.

The 27-year-old striker joined Galatasaray last summer from Trabzonspor for €5 million.

Despite his form and price Burak's move to Galatasaray wasn't met with thousands of adoring supporters turning up to greet him like they did for Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba - quite the opposite, there were a lot of question marks.

Questions were raised over whether Galatasaray was a step too high for Burak and whether he was the right man for a team playing Champions League football.

Burak didn't take long to silence his critics - in fact he surpassed even his biggest fans expectations. The Turkish international striker has now scored eight goals in eight Champions League starts a scoring record only matched by Ronaldo.

Burak's goal to minutes and shot ratio is better than Ronaldo. Burak has only played 677 minutes and taken 18 shots on target - Ronaldo has played 720 minutes and taken 41 shots on target.

The Turkish international striker was selected by UEFA.com as being the Champions League Player of the Group Stages. The European football body also nominated Yilmaz as a candidate for their Team of the Year award.

Burak has scored in six consecutive UEFA Champions League matches equaling the record held by then-Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh recorded in 2010.

The statistics really are staggering, below is a comparison of Burak and Ronaldo:

Burak has received 171 passes

Ronaldo has received 338 passes

Ronaldo has completed 36 successful dribbles

Burak has completed 9 successful dribbles

Burak Yilmaz has scored four headers

Ronaldo has scored one header

The latest Ronaldo has scored in a game is the 90th minute

The latest Burak has scored in a game is the 77th minute

Ronaldo has received the most passes from the left flank (60)

Burak has received the most passes through the middle, Selçuk İnan has passed the ball to Burak more than any other player (26)

Ronaldo runs an average of 8,130 metres a game

Burak runs an average of 7,882 meters a game

Ronaldo has had 508 touches of the ball

Burak has had 252 touches of the ball

Statistically it's difficult to separate the two. Ronaldo sees a lot more of the ball which is to be expected considering he plays behind the striker and contributes more to creating attacking moves and build up play.

Burak is usually the furthest player forwards - playing off the last man and running into the channels.

Ronaldo is usually involved in more of the play however, in terms of providing goals there is not much difference, both have six assists domestically and the Portuguese international leads in the Champions League with a single assist.

Burak has been more effective in the air however, Ronaldo has been more effective in possession of the ball taking on defenders .

The Turkish international was expected to see less playing time following the arrival of Drogba and Sneijder - there were even fears that he would get dropped.

However, Terim shifted from a traditional 4-4-2 to a 4-3-1-2 with a midfield diamond which incorporates the Sneijder, Drogba, Burak trio.

In fact the arrival of Drogba has brought out the best in Burak, the Turkish international has scored seven times in seven games alongside the former Chelsea legend.

Burak is thriving off Drogba's hold up play and clever passes - also it gives opposition defenders another striker to mark which has allowed Burak more space to operate in.

Who would have thought it - four years ago Burak was playing as right-back for Eskişehirspor and on Wednesday he will walk out onto the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League as the most prolific striker in Europe.

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