Real Madrid’s ‘BBC’ spreading fear across Spain and Europe

Out-of-favour Benzema and oft-injured Bale coming good at the right time

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Real Madrid teammates including Karim Benzema, centre, and Gareth Bale, left. Elisa Estrada / Getty Images
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Their fans are calling them “The BBC”. That is, Bale, Benzema and Cristiano, for those who pay no heed to Real Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti seems to have settled on this glorious attacking front three and they are not letting him down. Since their inglorious clasico defeat at Camp Nou last month at the hands of rivals Barcelona, Real Madrid have scored 15 goals in three league games, including seven against Sevilla.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored eight of them, Karim Benzema five and Gareth Bale two.

The mood is shifting in favour of Benzema, who was a scapegoat for the Bernabeu crowd only a month ago for being a non-scoring striker.

Not without reason, cynics said he kept his place in the team because he was a favourite of the club president.

Now Benzema cannot stop finding the net, while Bale is also showing quality after his anonymous clasico display.

Saturday’s hat-trick against Real Sociedad means Ronaldo has 16 league goals this season, overtaking Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa at the top of the league’s scoring charts.

He has also notched up twice as many goals as rival Lionel Messi, who will be on the sidelines for two months for Barcelona with another hamstring injury, his fourth in 2013.

Madrid are still third in the league, but they have played the some of the best football in Europe in recent weeks, and their 2-2 draw at Juventus in the Uefa Champions League last week enthralled.

They are still getting stronger while league leaders Barcelona have not gone without some criticism from their own supporters for their workmanlike style under their new manager, Gerardo Martino.

With the benchmark the magic of Pep Guardiola’s side, Martino has an uphill task.

Madrid have a new coach, too, in Ancelotti, but Ronaldo’s relationship with Jose Mourinho could be fractious.

He is much happier under Ancelotti, and he has embraced rather than envied the arrival of Bale.

Ronaldo has scored 62 goals during the calendar year, and Madrid fans are in no doubt that he is the man who will supersede Messi for the Ballon d’Or trophy, for which voting closes on Friday.

Ronaldo is the best player in the world right now, but unlike Messi and Frank Ribery, his main two rivals for the award that he is desperate to win, he did not inspire his team to a single trophy in 2013.

It is an individual award for a team game. Or is it?