After newly crowned king of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane took the reigns, he made one thing clear, Cristiano Ronaldo would be a key part of his team and labelled the Portuguese ‘untransferable’. But is it time that Madrid finally cashed in their chips on the forward and got out while they still can?
There’s no denying that Cristiano Ronaldo has been one of the top players ever to grace a football field, smashing records right, left and centre. Real Madrid have certainly got their money’s worth after signing him from Manchester United for a record breaking £80 million in 2009.
Since his move, he has achieved incredible things. He has become Madrid’s top ever goalscorer in a fraction of the amount of games of Rául, he’s won the Ballon d’Or three times and currently leads Lionel Messi in UEFA Champions League goals tally.
However, at the age of 30, we can now see a decline in the forwards performances. Some put it down to an attitude and some say he is unsettled, but really, much like Wayne Rooney, he’s just getting old.
For a player like Ronaldo, who relies on speed and power more than anything in his game, he may just have reached his peak last season. Thanks to statistics by www.squawka.com we can see the decline in the forwards activity.
The main thing you associate Cristiano Ronaldo with is, of course, goals.
Starting there; after 18 games played in all competitions, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals, with an average shot accuracy of 47%. This of course, is still impressive and what you’d expect of a top striker. However, if you compare it to his tally at this point last year, he had scored 28 goals and bolstered an impressive 72% average shot accuracy.
Even taking it back one or two seasons more, he was accumulating a better shot accuracy and more goals.
As well as finishing off chances, you also expect your forward to create a few now and then. Once again, the Real Madrid man is well off his pace from last season. At this point last year, he had created 42 chances for his teammates. That’s down to almost half this season at 27 chances created.
His power pair has also slightly declined in the past year, with the forward winning on average 46% of his duels (this includes headers, take-ons, fouls against/committed, tackles won/lost). This is down from 51% at this point last season.
Notably, the number of fouls against Ronaldo has declined significantly from 65% to 52% and the number of headed duels has also declined.
If this dip in form does indicate that he is decline would it be a smarter business move on Madrid’s behalf to move him on for big money while they still can? If his form does begin to deplete in coming seasons, his price tag will follow.
With teams like Manchester United and PSG out there, with cash on the table, it’s a no brainer.
Enda Coll, Pundit Arena