Cristiano Ronaldo might be one of the best players in the world but former Barcelona midfielder Gaizka Mendieta believes the Portuguese has lost a part of his game he possessed in his younger days that has changed the way he plays.
The Real Madrid superstar has managed to keep up his excellent goalscoring record throughout his career. But the type of goals he scores now is probably very different to the ones he scored during his United days or even his earlier Real Madrid days.
Mendieta believes that Ronaldo does not have the ability to beat defenders and score spectacular goals anymore. Speaking to AS he said, “Cristiano is showing that he understands that he can no longer collect the ball in the center of the pitch, take it past five players and score the goal of the game. He knows that where the team needs him most is in the area.”
It is true Ronaldo has adapted really well with age and has maintained his incredible scoring rate without having the same individual ability he possessed earlier.
But adapting is one of the hallmarks of a great player and his ability should not be undermined how difficult it can be to make that transition. Many would probably argue that this makes Lionel Messi a better player but there aren’t many who have made such a drastic change in such a short space of time.
The 31-year-old recently signed a mammoth 5-year deal with Madrid which will keep him at the club until he is 36. This move by Madrid is seen as a mistake by their critics considering his decline in form this season.
But don’t rule out Ronaldo of managing to change his game again to suit the needs of his team while managing to live up to his ridiculous standards
The Isco – James conundrum
The futures of Isco and James Rodriguez remain as uncertain since they joined the club. Both stars have failed to establish as regulars in the team and have been very inconsistent so far for Los Blancos.
Zidane has decided to persist with the duo and both have had their moments under his management. But it seems like there is only a spot in the first XI for one of them and Mendieta addressed the situation Zidane is in.
“The fact that [Isco] played and scored in the friendly against England could help him for the derby [versus Atletico this Saturday]. Now one of the two will have to help to find the balance that the team’s lost without Kroos and Casemiro.”
Should Isco and James move on?
When something is not going for you the best thing you can do is try and change it. Isco and James Rodriguez have tried several times now to secure a starting berth but their inconsistency has been alarming for Zidane which is why the Frenchman does not place complete trust in them yet.
Both now have one of two choices at this relatively early point in their careers. They could stay and try and find that consistency or seek pastures new to start from scratch. Looking at how despite the injury crisis neither have still performed to their full potential it would be wise for them to look elsewhere for regular game time.
With Modric and Casemiro to return soon, they might once again have to return to their comfortable seats in the dugout.