Real Madrid must avoid Portugal-like Ronaldo reliance to succeed
With club scoring records seemingly being toppled every time Cristiano Ronaldo graces the pitch with Real Madrid, it’s obvious the spotlight will shine upon this Portuguese superstar when he endures even the slightest of goal-droughts.
In a true puzzling contradiction of form at the Bernabeu, despite the 30-year-old topping the charts in both the Champions League and La Liga so far this season, Ronaldo has actually only struck in two of his seven outings.
It’s far from stuttering form, just a further indication of his incredibly high standards set by himself, and possibly constant rival Lionel Messi, but it’s Real’s Ronaldo reliance that could actually be a hindrance, with the club 5/1 with Coral for an 11th European crown.
Eight goals in seven club outings is a record any attacker in Europe would be proud of, but Ronaldo’s season tally was bagged over two clashes, with a five-goal haul against Espanyol and a treble over Shakhtar Donestk only days later earlier this month.
Although, the Portugal skipper has now failed to score in three consecutive domestic league encounters, and struck in just one in six overall, despite having an onslaught of shots during a recent 0-0 with Malaga.
Such a seemingly desperate attempt to rediscover his clinical edge could be an effect of having yet another record in his sights, with Ronaldo now just one strike away from his 500th career goal and, more notably, only three adrift of Raul Gonzalez’s Real figure of 323.
With Wales ace Gareth Bale and Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez both having endured injuries of late, Ronaldo has taken up a familiar role of leading the line and being the club’s sole attacking focus.
Such tactics are seen when Ronaldo dons his international colours for Portugal, with the nation targeting their star man at every opportunity, hoping he can deliver success single-handedly. The ferocious forward does have the ability to do so, but it starves other big names of attacking duties and can frustratingly end up backfiring.
Against Malaga, Rafael Benitez saw his side do that, aiming for Ronaldo and expecting him to showcase his usual conviction, despite possessing a team of so-called Galacticos.
France international attacker Karim Benzema has netted the same amount of league goals this term as his teammate, but his have come across five La Liga appearances and helped earn more points in the process. Maybe the Frenchman should be awarded a more pivotal role?
Bale and Rodriguez are set to return to the fold soon, meaning Ronaldo may see his chances of overcoming Raul’s all-time club record increase with such creative stars surrounding him. His next attempts will come against Swedish outfit Malmo in the Champions League, before a derby clash with Atletico Madrid, where Ronaldo is 4/1 to dispatch two or more at the Vicente Calderon.
Ronaldo has faced harsh criticism from the Spanish media for his apparent drought, despite being only one more clinical outing away from assuring his position as Real’s deadliest ever marksman.
Though that harsh treatment, as well as the lack of goals, could end with devastating effect when the driven forward finally betters club legend Raul, with Malmo potentially set to be the victims of a resurgent Ronaldo.