Reason Cristiano Ronaldo Is Gradually Fading Away
No footballer can continue to thrive at the highest levels of Europe given the natural progression of age and the physical toll that takes over the course of their career with injuries being a part and parcel of the game which prolongs recovery, eventually forcing players to take a call or settling for a league with lower tempo or quality. No doubt Cristiano’s fitness levels are astonishing and even at the age of 36 he possess supreme levels of agility, speed and athleticism, the prospect of facing him in a one on one is no longer threatening for defenders.
I have been watching him play for Madrid since 2009 and there are certain things that are starting to bother me which I would like to share.
1. Free kicks
There was a time when a Ronaldo free kick managed to send a chill down the spine of even the best goalkeepers in the world. Now, it has been more than a year he scored directly from a free kick. Whenever Ronaldo comes on to take a free kick, you might as well be certain he is going to hit it over the post or into the wall.
2.) Inability to take on defenders and create chances.
While Ronaldo was never the best dribbler, his current unwillingness to take on defenders and create chances is disturbing. These days he simply seems to be waiting for the ball to be delivered at his feet for easy taps. Also, more and more defenders are easily able to contain him during matches now.
3.) Rivalry with Messi
Ronaldo’s rivalry with Lionel Messi affects him more than it should. This usually transforms him being a better player, he is now venting out his frustration at his team mates whenever he is not able to score. This led to Bale trying to create goals for him for over five matches until he decided to start shooting again when he was in Real Madrid. Cristiano could take out a leaf out of Messi’s book and realise that the team is more important than his personal records.
Ronaldo is now thirty six years old and he himself is finding it hard to match the levels he has set out for himself. There has been a gradual decline in his speed and dribbling abilities. Although, he is still in fantastic shape, it is hard to predict how long he will be able to match his own standards.
If his form continues like this, maybe it is time for him to step down and let others take on the mantle or maybe reinvent himself as a complete center forward. And while he is among the best player ever to have played for Real Madrid, he should realize that no player is bigger than the team. But we really hope he proves us wrong, as he has do to many of his critics in the past and come out stronger than ever with maybe a hattrick at Camp nou.