Despite having 688 goals to his name, the Real Madrid forward has failed to score in six matches since January. His last time he went six games without scoring was in 2009. Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2009 to join Real Madrid, and has since become one of the most influential players in European football. After a brief stint at Juventus, he has returned to Manchester United. But can the Portuguese superstar maintain his scoring form?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal-scoring record
If you’ve been following the world of football for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese legend is one of the best players of all time, with over 500 goals for Manchester United and 75 for Portugal. However, there are some questions that might have crossed your mind. How much do you know about the man’s goal-scoring record without goals?
The answer is not very simple. Ronaldo’s record for most goals in a season is actually a combination of individual and team statistics. While a team can have multiple goals scorers, it is still difficult to separate the best goal-scorers by nationality. Ronaldo is now the most prolific goal scorer for his club, with over 70 goals in the La Liga alone.
The real secret to Ronaldo’s record is that he’s scored free kicks. His first two goals in the Champions League were from free kicks, and he scored four goals in the league against Zurich. He’s scored at least one free-kick in his first eight seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, including the 2012-13 season. His free-kick record has remained impressive – he’s scored a free-kick in every season he’s been at Real Madrid.
Despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal-scorying record, he’s gone without a single goal on five occasions in the last six years. That record was broken only by Lionel Messi at the 2011 Ballon D’Or ceremony. However, the Portuguese ‘keeper had already transitioned to a central role in the side’s attack. His goal-scoring record without goals was also better than anyone else’s in the league.
A record of eighty-five goals in eight seasons of international football has been contested. While Bican is close to Ronaldo’s record, the Czech FA claims that he scored eighty-one goals in a season. However, this claim has never been officially confirmed. In any case, Ronaldo’s goal-scoring record is still the most important one in football. So, how do you break this record?
His position on the pitch
The best ways to defend against the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo are to stay open and be a predator from close range. In recent years, this has led to some criticism of Ronaldo, both from the media and YouTube. But how can we emulate Ronaldo’s game? Here are some tips:
In the second half of the recent game against Ireland, Ronaldo was switched to the left after failing to score. The substitution of Bruno Fernandes, who had been named centre-forward, allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to make his mark on the match and move ahead of Ali Daei in the all-time scoring list. After the second half, the Portuguese manager switched Ronaldo’s position on the pitch and brought on Andre Silva to provide a more attacking threat.
At Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo spent 92% of his time playing in a centre-forward role. He also played alongside Paulo Dybala in a front two. At the time, his best position was as a winger. He made excellent use of his speed and trickery to create space for strikers. When playing alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy, he provided a vital feed for the striker.
During his last season at Real Madrid, Ronaldo had moved to a central striker. While his role has changed, his influence has not diminished. Now, his teammates look for a way to exploit the gaps in the middle of the pitch and create opportunities for other players. With such a dynamic player, Zidane needs to find new ways to make the most of his space. The best way to do this is to play him on the left flank. The more space he can provide for his teammates, the more chances there are of them making an impact.
If Manchester United can sign Sancho for PS73 million, they should end their search for a top-class right winger. Solskjaer is unlikely to ask Ronaldo to play in this role for Manchester United. This position is often associated with a more attacking role, but this is not a bad option for the Portuguese. If he does, Solskjaer will have the luxury of using a striker who is capable of occupying the central defenders.
With two assists in three Premier League games, Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the Premier League this season. However, his team-mates haven’t done as well, with Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford both without goals this season. Both have made impressive debuts for Manchester United this season. However, the Portuguese has failed to find a winning combination with his team-mates. Here are some reasons why.
During his spell at Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes was a central part of their attack. Both are Portuguese and their partnership has been stifled since Ronaldo returned. Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen believes that Fernandes has become too reliant on the Portuguese star, and has been unable to score goals of his own. The former Real Madrid winger was forced to sit out the game against Spezia after the injury.
Despite the absence of a key player, Ronaldo still continues to receive praise from critics. One such team-mate, Jasmine, has been labelled a ‘close friend’. She has been named Best Player in Europe by ESPN and was previously a team-mate of Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward also claimed the Golden Boot, the tournament’s most coveted individual award.
While many of his team-mates are still struggling to get a foothold in the Premier League, Ronaldo continues to score for his team. With his hat-trick against Norwich, he resurrected Manchester United’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League. The hat-trick came after an injury to one of his teammates, namely Alejandro Garnacho.
Man United’s attack is weaker without Ronaldo. The emergence of Anthony Martial, and the loss of Paul Pogba have left the team’s attack depleted. Similarly, the lack of a creative point of attack has left the team vulnerable to Ronaldo’s dominance. As a result, Ronaldo tends to roam the field with the ball and has limited skill in build-up play. He steals the ball from Paul Pogba, and doesn’t give other attackers chances.
Ronaldo’s team-mates without goals are mostly in his team. The two were teammates for many years, but the former is the most notable among them. Ruud van Nistelrooy felt frustrated playing alongside the young Ronaldo. In total, the two scored 14 goals together in 130 games, both for Manchester United and Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo’s list of team-mates without goals is dominated by Real Madrid players, with Dani Carvajal (165 games) and Karim Benzema (15 games) being the top two. Furthermore, both players have helped each other score.