Ronaldo’s Decline

Can the 31 year old Cristiano Ronaldo still lead a top team?

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The numbers are worrying for Cristiano Ronaldo fans and Real Madrid.

So far this campaign, Ronaldo has played 29 matches and has scored in 14 of them. This is a new low for the Portuguese, who has scored in just 48.2% of matches, his worst scoring ratio since joining Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009.

Further examination of his goals show that none of them were scored when Real Madrid were trailing. He he scored or assisted when the teams were tied in just 24% of the times. 35% of his goals were scored when Real Madrid were leading by 3 goals or more. For comparison  43% of Messi’s goals-assists were scored when Barcelona needed a goal to go one up. 17% of his goals/assists came when his team was behind.

In fact, Real Madrid would have the same number of points without Cristiano’s goals.

This season, Ronaldo’s 30 goals were scored in less than 15 matches. 5 against Espanyol at Cornellá, 4 against Malmo, 3 against Shakhtar and Espanyol in the Bernabéu. He’s also scored five braces, but he hasn’t got off the mark when his team needed him most, drawing a blank against PSG, Barcelona, Atlético, Athletic, Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia.

It’s clear, the team is less reliant on his brilliance.

The pride feels it when the Alpha Lion is beginning to slow down. Rumors in Spain suggest he’s not going to be offered a contract extension in Real Madrid, which might sell him to fund new players. Also, in the United States, it was suggested that Neymar will replace Ronaldo as top Nike’s poster boy.

Can the 31 year old Cristiano Ronaldo still lead a top team? Should he change his style of play? Does he need to leave Real Madrid? These are questions he’ll need to answer on the pitch.

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