In the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s terrible 93rd minute miss against Athletic Bilbao, we remind CR7 to find back his focus.
Last Sunday at home to Athletic, the 31-year-old Portuguese forward did something that was quite unlike himself. It happened in injury time as he was beautifully served with a one-on-one chance to wrap up Real Madrid’s victory.
That is not to say that the public expected him to pass the ball to the unmarked Alvaro Morata on the left, at that moment. Knowing CR7’s obsession with poaching goals, viewers expected him to score all by himself – be it by rounding up the keeper, sliding the ball underneath his body or lobbing the ball effortlessly. Shockingly, Ronaldo failed to successfully complete his move as if his Midas touch had totally evaded him.
Ronaldo has the right to miss goals…
Naturally, his team has come to his defence. Speaking after the game, birthday-boy and match winner Alvaro Morata rubbished criticism aimed at CR7 for being selfish.
“When you are used to scoring almost 70 goals a season, it’s almost like an addiction for goals,” he said via the club’s website.
“For us, he is the most important player in the team and I hope that he scores lots of goals, but he is not a machine,” Morata continued.
“He is a human being. Even if he comes from another planet and is different, he also has the right to miss.”
Zidane also backed his most priced asset after the game:
“Cristiano Ronaldo had chances. This is what is difficult with football. If he didn’t score today, he’ll score tomorrow.”
… but he needs to keep his feet on the ground and his head in the game
As the cliché goes, a pot once forged cannot be reshaped, unless broken. Cristiano Ronaldo began his illustrious career single-handedly breezing past defenders with pace and skill. As such, the formerly nicknamed “Little Bee” engraved the “I don’t share” trait in his DNA. Because, yes, it feels too good to keep the ball at your feet and perform wonders with it.
As CR7 contemplates retiring at 40 at the top level, his team of physios have had to think ahead and come up with changes in Ronaldo’s game. Less dribbling and vulnerability towards harsh injuries. More intelligent positioning on the field to net a maximum of goals. This strategy has been absolutely efficient for the star winger whose prolificacy in front of goal has offered him a multitude of individual awards as well as two Champions League titles among other collective trophies with Los Blancos.
Although individuality may pay dividends at times, it can also cost teams victories. Up until now, Ronaldo got used to winning battles on his own by scoring countless goals. Now, with his frustration fueling his obsession to find back his scoring boots at Real Madrid, CR7 is gradually losing the war.
Ronaldo’s Ballon d’or 2016 triumph is under threat:
While he may think that he has accomplished enough in 2016, journalists are starting to think otherwise. This means that Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or triumph is no more obvious. The prize is no more safely in his hands. Double domestic title winners Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi, as well as in-form Antoine Griezmann are finishing the calendar year strongly.
Cristiano Ronaldo, are you watching?
Ronaldo’s current problem is not just physical. It has less to do with his fitness and more to do with his energy and focus.
Let’s recall that the mega-rich athlete is actively building his financial empire. Amid issues about his jet crashing in Barcelona and the launch of his chain of Pestana CR7 hotels, Ronaldo’s attention is widely spread. Unfortunately for Cristiano Ronaldo fans and supporters of Real Madrid FC, this comes at the peril of his form. In turn, the latter condition angers him and triggers selfish emotions. Talk about a vicious cycle.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner needs a break from all the noise, the responsibilities and the activities distracting his mind. He needs to put himself together, seek peace and order within so as to return stronger than before. The sooner he addresses his current dilemma, the better.