He's upped his hat-trick (and indeed four- and five-goal haul) game since, though, and now bagged a barely believable 44 of them for Real Madrid - plus five on the global stage.
This latest news is now expected to put Neymar in a confused status of mind as Brazilian legend Ronaldo Delima last week advised him to join Real Madrid.
Ronaldo scored once in the first half and three times in the second, reaching 21 goals in his last 11 matches in all competitions.
For example, if there is a penalty, he takes it with maximum concentration.
"We have scored many goals in four or five games at the Bernabeu, which we didn't do at the start of the season".
Ronaldo hasn't won the award since 2014-15, when he had 48 goals. That was still shy of Messi's record of 50 in 2011-12.
The Catalan club, impressing in its first season in the top flight, remains in seventh place and still with a chance to qualify for the Europa League next season.
Memphis Depay's last-gasp victor clinched Lyon a thrilling 3-2 victory at Marseille Sunday that kept them firmly in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
It was during that early-season wobble that talk of a possible switch elsewhere intensified for a man who is now 33 years of age.
Ronaldo's quartet against Girona yesteday was the ninth occasion he has hit four in a match, while he has scored five in a game twice. He has at least 25 league goals in nine consecutive seasons with Barcelona.
"Cristiano is playing at a spectacular level and it shows every day. He's now helping the team and that's really positive for us".