What next for Cristiano?
Cristiano Ronaldo is on fire once more. 6 goals in his last three games has taken CR7 to 40 goals for the campaign already, and in notching against Roma, now has 13 in the Champions League alone. Yet all is far from rosy in the world of the Portuguese superstar, with lacklustre league results and fragile relationships with both teammates and fans coming to the fore in recent weeks. Could this be the last season at the Bernabeu?
There is nothing wrong with the Portuguese attacker’s current form in terms of goals, despite some mutterings to the contrary earlier this season. Cristiano has now hit 40 for the season in just 36 matches, adding a further 13 assists;
However, on slightly closer inspection of solely La Liga form, there does appear to have been a slight decline, as Whoscored.com’s ratings system suggests;
|Season||La Liga App.||La Liga Goals||La Liga Assists||Man of the Match Awards||Whoscored.com rating|
Whilst his individual goal-scoring exploits remain almost unparalleled, has CR7’s team contribution dropped this season?
There is certainly no issue as far as the current Real Madrid coach is concerned. Zinedine Zidane has praised his star player’s performances often and glowingly in recent times. The Real and France legend has called Cristiano the “soul of Madridismo” and described the Portugal star as “non-transferrable,” adding that “When I am here, he will not leave.”
Unbelievably, despite his exploits in scoring 40 goals for Madrid for a sixth consecutive season, some Los Blancos supporters have taken recently to targeting Ronaldo for their side’s lacklustre performances in La Liga this season which have left Real trailing in the wake of both Barcelona and Atletico. Indeed, the supporters were heard booing their previously beloved Number 7 in both recent matches against Celta Vigo (a 7-1 Madrid victory in which Ronaldo scored four times) and Roma (a 2-0 win in which the Portuguese player again scored). Club captain Sergio Ramos has urged the club’s supporters to “think” before they boo their top scorer, adding that “I respect them but when things don’t go well they should support their players because we all want the best for Real Madrid. He’s a historic player for Real Madrid, he keeps proving that year after year, look at what he’s achieved.”
It is perhaps ironic that Ramos supported his teammate in rallying against the clubs fans, as player relationships within the Bernabeu have been questioned in recent times. Indeed, back in February Ronaldo responded to comments about his apparent lack of relationship with teammate Gareth Bale in saying “It’s not necessary to go out eating with Bale, what matters is when you are on the field. What happens off it doesn’t count, it matters that we are a team on it.” Yet the love that seems to exist between Barcelona’s feted frontline of Messi, Neymar and Suarez will surely rancour, especially as the Catalan giants look certain to secure yet another La Liga title.
Despite Zizou’s comments to the contrary, it does not remain a certainty that Ronaldo will be in Madrid next season. In particular, the Parc des Princes has been mooted as a destination, a move that seemed to be edging closer back in November when Real and PSG met in the Champions League group stages and the mutual love between Cristiano and PSG boss Laurent Blanc was clear. Le Perisien reported Ronaldo as saying “Your team plays really well, I would love to work with you” when embracing Blanc at the end of the game in Paris. Then, of course, there is his former club, Manchester United, a team Ronaldo has often expressed his love and admiration for. Indeed, it’s best to close with words directly from the horse’s mouth on this occasion;
“Of course I miss playing for Manchester United. I played there for six years and that’s a long time. I am still interested in watching Manchester United and, you never know, maybe in the future I could return to play there. It’s always possible. I want to fulfil my contract here but, in the future, only God knows. I will not say I am not happy here at Real Madrid. I am really happy and everyone knows this is my club but, of course, I miss Manchester United, the boss, the players, because I left family there.”
Ronaldo’s next permanent club betting
Manchester United – 2.38
PSG – 2.50
Bayern Munich – 5.00
Sporting Lisbon – 6.00
Chelsea – 17.00
LA Galaxy – 17.00
Manchester City – 17.00
All odds courtesy of Paddy Power and correct as of 12/03/16
By: Steven Paget