Friday, November 16, 2018

High Bar, Failed Expectations & Cristiano Ronaldo’s Crisis in Numbers

Milos Markovic in Editorial, La Liga 6 Nov 2017

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The main issue with setting the bar too high is pressure and criticism as soon as you fail to maintain the expected level of performances.

And for a perfectionist player as emotion-driven as Cristiano Ronaldo even the tiniest of dry spells will cause quite a media pressure just like this current one revolving around the Real Madrid biggest star.

Is Ronaldo really in crisis?

During the long eight seasons in Spanish capital Madrid, the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has established himself as prolific goal scorer who averages a goal every 6.83 shots at goal.

The 32-year-old forward has gone from strength to strength with Los Blancos, scoring at least 31 La Liga goals in six of his eight years at Santiago Bernabeu with the 2014/15 season coming as the best thus far with 48 hits in domestic competition.

Once you set the bar that high, people are going to expect you to keep pushing it further.

And once Cristiano Ronaldo stumbled to 25 La Liga goals last term, the people were quick to judge his goalscoring ability. Less than a convincing start to the 2017/18 season only added fuel to the fire with Cristiano Ronaldo currently standing at only La Liga goal in his domestic tally.

The Portuguese scored another one in Copa del Rey and grabbed 6 more in only four Champions League games, but it did not prevent the public finger from pointing towards him.

What Do the Numbers Say?

FIFA Best Player of the Year and the main Mallon d’Or candidate is going through a barren La Liga spell which saw him hit the target once in six matches he played.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s start to the domestic campaign was disrupted by a whopping five-match suspension he got for pushing the referee during the Spanish Cup clash against Barcelona but it appears that the Portuguese star has yet to pull reign on his emotions and get back to his usual scoring self.

Ronaldo totalled 48 shots in Spanish top flight this season but is yet to score in last three domestic matches, despite hitting the back of the net in a Champions League defeat to Tottenham last week.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s drop in form coincided with Real Madrid’s struggles as Los Blancos went through a domestic shocker at Girona and a continental embarrassment in London. And while his team got back to winning ways with their usual swagger against Las Palmas at Bernabeu, Cristiano Ronaldo’s struggles continue.

He clipped the woodwork three times against Las Palmas as almost everyone went on to score expect him – and Karim Benzema, another highly-criticised and scrutinised Real Madrid star.

Is There a Reason to Be Worried?

Cristiano Ronaldo is frustrated by his lack of goals. A highly competitive sportsman, the Portuguese enjoys being on top of his game and his face will fail to conceal frustration despite him claiming that lack of goals does not worry him.

“Cristiano goes home upset when he doesn’t score.”, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos told Movistar Partidazo.

There is no reason to be worried – just yet – since Cristiano Ronaldo is a kind of a player who makes a great difference even when he is not scoring goals. The 32-year-old forward did make an impression against Las Palmas and was only unfortunate not to score. In the meantime, he grabbed as assist to Isco – his second this season. Ronaldo keeps rival players on alert constantly, thus creating valuable space for his teammates to explore and his contribution is much more than just goals.

Goals, however, remain the fuel to his ambition and Ronaldo will continue to suffer emotionally until he gets back to scoring ways.

Portugal boss Fernando Santos did not include Ronaldo for upcoming friendlies against Saudi Arabia and USA which means Real Madrid star will be given a much needed rest.

Real Madrid return to action on 18 November with a highly-anticipated city derby against Atletico Madrid and Zidane will need to have his old Ronaldo back.

Cristiano can be backed at 23/18 to rediscover his scoring touch against the local rivals.



Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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