News emerged Friday that the Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was caught driving on a Madrid motorway at 216kph – 116 more than the speed limit. It not only got him into trouble with the authorities, it allowed him, for once, to briefly exceed Cristiano Ronaldo as the fastest man at the Bernabeu.
Even by his own superlative-inducing standards, Ronaldo is excelling at present, his game-changing qualities evident as Madrid outclassed Barcelona 3-1 on Tuesday in Camp Nou in the second leg of their Copa del Rey tie.
The teams meet again on Saturday in a league clasico, with Barca still reeling and Andres Iniesta conceding "something is missing".
The mood is very different in Madrid, where their star player's pursuit of excellence impresses his peers.
"He is the most ambitious player I've ever met, with the hunger and desire to score in every game," said his Real teammate Xavi Alonso.
"He is impressive in terms of his athletic qualities and his technical abilities. He is a complete player: he has a great shot; he knows how to put his opponent off-balance in one-on-one situations; he's great at finding space and he has great timing."
After Tuesday's success, teammate Sergio Ramos described Ronaldo as "the best in the world, a player who always delivers".
He delivered by scoring Madrid's opening two goals in a performance which overshadowed that of his nemesis, Lionel Messi.
Not for the first time in a stadium where he has scored in each of the past six visits, it was a match-winning performance.
Such endeavours are vote-winners in the individual awards which have eluded Ronaldo in the past in favour of Messi.
After again being the runner-up in the 2012 Ballon d'Or, an exasperated Ronaldo left the stage and asked a friend: "What more do I need to do?"
The answer: do more of the same on Saturday in Madrid and next Tuesday in Manchester when they take on United in the second leg of their last-16 Uefa Champions League tie, with the score level at 1-1 after the first leg in the Bernabeu last month.
Ronaldo has been top-level all season, even when his side were in poor form at the start, then when they lost ground in the league they were hoping to defend and finished second in their Champions League group.
It was to Ronaldo's personal advantage, for fans finally realised that he was the main man at the club and began to support him in a manner previously not seen.
They realised they needed Ronaldo more than he needed them and they want him to stay.
Saturday's game, played at 4pm local time to appeal to the Asian market, is likely to see players rested. Over 90 per cent of 30,000 readers polled in one Madrid-based newspaper stated that they would play a reserve team against a Barcelona side 16 points ahead in the league to avoid the risk of injuries.
Ronaldo is not likely to be one of them for, like Messi he hates to miss matches and loves to play.
Madrid have given up on the league and their priority is the game in Manchester, yet Ronaldo claims: "You are always motivated to beat Barcelona.
"The league is less important because they've got a lot more points than us. We have to focus more on the cup and the Champions League. But, without a doubt, we will go out to play as well as possible."
That means aiming to repeat what they did on Tuesday: suck Barcelona into an end-to-end clash where they play to their counter-attacking strength.
They will try to do the same at Old Trafford, where Ronaldo will receive a reaction very different to that at Camp Nou.
Although United fans are unanimous in their admiration for a player who arrived as a callow 18 year old a decade ago and left as the European Footballer of the Year six years later, it is not yet clear how they will welcome him this week.
They want to show their appreciation for a former star who has always spoken glowingly of the club and stated that he wants to return some day, but they do not want to encourage him to knock their team out of the competition. The fanfare can wait until after the final whistle.
But first, the small matter of another clasico.
Real Madrid v Barcelona 7pm
Deportivo v Rayo Vallecano 9pm
Osasuna v Athletic Bilbao 11pm
Valencia v Levante 1am (Sunday)
Granada v Mallorca 3pm
Espanyol v Valladolid 8pm
Malaga v Atletico Madrid 10pm
Real Sociedad v Real Betis midnight
Sevilla v Celta Vigo 12.30am (Tuesday)
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