Former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is convinced Cristiano Ronaldo will again out-score Barcelona rival Lionel Messi and finish as the top scorer in La Liga this season.
Ancelotti, who coached Ronaldo the past two seasons at Real before being dismissed in May after a trophy-less year, is not concerned by the Portugal captain's failure to score in the opening two league games.
Ronaldo, 30, is in his seventh campaign with Los Blancos and enjoyed one of his best campaigns in 2014-15 after he scored 61 goals in all competitions -- his best return at Real since his arrival from Manchester United in 2009.
The attacker netted 48 goals in 35 league games and was the top scorer in La Liga for the third time in his career.
Ancelotti said to Chinese portal Sina Sport as reported in Marca: "I have no doubt about Cristiano Ronaldo, despite him failing to find the net in Real Madrid's first two games of the season.
"I know Cristiano really well, and if I were a gambling man, I'd bet on him to be La Liga's top scorer this term. He notched up 61 goals under me last year.
"It was incredible. Only the greatest players in the history of the game can boast those kinds of stats. Spain is really lucky to have both Messi and him playing football there."
Messi netted 43 goals to finish second behind Ronaldo in the goal-scoring standings for the Pichichi award -- the trophy given to the top scorer in La Liga.
The Barcelona forward underlined his status as one of the best players in team history last season when he scored a total of 60 goals and set up 28 more in 60 appearances, helping the Blaugrana capture a La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey Treble.
"Leo will again be one of the best," Ancelotti said. "I have no doubt because he has incredible quality. He is a chosen one."
Despite Ronaldo's spectacular numbers this past season, Real finished runners-up to Barcelona in La Liga, a competition they have not won since the 2011-12 campaign.
The club were also eliminated from the Champions League in the semifinals by Juventus, who Barcelona beat to lift the trophy.
Ancelotti led Real to a historic 10th European Cup in his first season at the club and became only the second manager in the history of the game, after Bob Paisley, to win the competition three times.
Real then won the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in the club's history in December 2014 but suffered a decline in results earlier this year, leading to Ancelotti's departure and the arrival of Spanish coach Rafa Benitez.
"I know what it means to coach Real Madrid and I wish Benitez luck and to receive maximum respect for his job," Ancelotti said. "Right now, it's too early to judge the team.
"Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo are two crucial pillars for Real Madrid and I wish them the best this season."
Ancelotti believes the Liga title will again be a three-horse race.
"The candidates to win the league are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico," the 56-year-old said. "They have competed for the title for the last three years and it will continue to be like this.
"Barca's start has been irregular, but the reality is that they have taken six points from the two games played and achieved this without Messi's goals, something unusual and which has surprised many."
Ancelotti will follow La Liga closely as he has decided to continue to live in Madrid while enjoying a one-year sabbatical.
He had plenty of options to coach this season, including an offer from former club AC Milan this summer, but opted to take time off.
"After ending my time at Real Madrid, where I am very proud of the titles we achieved and to have guided an incredible group of players, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, I decided to take a break," he said.
"I wanted to take a breather and gain perspective after 20 years coaching the best clubs in the world almost without interruption: Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid.
"It was the right time to stop in order to return to the bench with a lot more energy, and if possible being a better coach."