Since winning the Ballon d’Or Cristiano Ronaldo’s form for Real Madrid has taken a massive drop – so would the Spanish giants be wise to cash in on their star player?
The former Manchester United ace, who recently turned 30, collected his second World Player of the Year award in as many years in January after a sensational year
where his exploits helped Real win the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, while going close to landing La Liga.
After seeing his great rival Lionel Messi collect the coveted award for four consecutive years before his comeback in 2014 and 2015, Ronaldo’s clear jubilation with
wrestling back the title of the world’s best would appear to have affected his performances on the pitch.
As someone often perceived as an egotist who is as concerned about individal awards as much as team prizes, it has now been levelled against him that his self-indulgence has
risen to new levels.
His uncharacteristic behaviour was noted when after being on the receiving end of a hammering against rivals Atletico Madrid he was out drinking and partying without
an apparent care in the world to celebrate his 30th birthday. Would this have happened before he collected his award as the world’s best? Unlikely.
His incredible skill was matched by an unswerving focus and dedication to be the very best and to achieve the top honours.
Recent statistics would suggest that since reaching the pinnacle as the undisputed number one footballer on the planet, he has gone into a perverse decline, albeit
by his own high standards.
According to Opta, as reported on Sky Sports, he was scoring a goal on average every 65 minutes before his Ballon d’Or and only every 147 minutes afterwards.
He was also averaging three shots on target per game before and now only 1.2, with his shooting accuracy standing at 72 per cent previously and now just 40 per cent. Also, he was creating 1.8 chances a game before and now just the one per game.
The situation has even left some thinking now is the best time for Ronaldo to be sold, with former United player and now Spanish football expert Terry Gibson one of those.
“I think his individual obsession with his own achievements is hindering the performance of the Real Madrid team,“ he said. “They can’t find the system that suits all the players that they’ve got. We’re talking one star player and just below that we’re talking about other world-class players such as Toni Kroos, Jamez Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.
“This list goes on but he is above them. I just think they would be better off taking the big money they would still get for him, re-investing it in other world class players and I think they might be a better team for it.”