5 players who silenced critics this season
They were unduly criticised by fans and pundits before their performances shut them up for good
If there is one thing a player loves more than performing for his fans, it is proving a point to those who criticise them. Shutting up critics gives them immense satisfaction.
Of course, there are numerous players who shut the world out and just go about their business. But in the 21st century, where there is no escape from social media, they are bound to read or hear about what fans and pundits have to say about them.
They may be respectable people on and off the pitch with no sourness on the outside but deep down they will be satisfied with how their season has gone so far following numerous opinions that pointed to the contrary.
Here are five players who have silenced their critics in 2017/18.
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
The term 'Goal Machine' and Cristiano Ronaldo have been synonymous for the better part of the last decade and yet the Portuguese forward had his worst start ever to the 2017/18 Spanish La Liga season.
At 32 (when the season started), many expected him to be on the wane despite his phenomenal fitness record. The struggles in the league only seemed to confirm it. And his struggles mirrored Real Madrid's form as Zinedine Zidane's side dropped to eighth place earlier in the season.
To make matters worse, his arch-rival Lionel Messi was racing away - as were Barcelona. The title race is pretty much over in Spain with almost no hope for Los Blancos to catch up. By the end of 2017, Ronaldo only had 4 league goals to his name.
However, at the turn of the year, he managed to bring his Champions League goalscoring form (9 goals in 6 games) to La Liga. With Karim Benzema also in dire form and Gareth Bale not fully fit, the onus was on him to deliver - and he did!
He became the first player to score a perfect hat-trick in La Liga this season. Playing more as a centre-forward rather than a wide forward in most games, Ronaldo began climbing the charts, scoring at will. In 2018 alone he has 21 goals so far in all competitions.
In the race for the Pichichi (La Liga Golden Boot), he is now just three goals behind Messi who is on 25 goals. Across all competitions, though, there is nobody better in Europe's top five leagues at the moment.