Cristiano Ronaldo is doing just fine this season
We take a look as to why most of the criticism targeted at Cristiano Ronaldo this season is unfair
Cristiano Ronaldo has had an indifferent start to the season in La Liga having scored only 1 goal in his first 7 matches. The criticism of his profligacy in front of goal has risen and his conversion rate of less than 3% has made headlines everywhere. The fact it has coincided with a bad spell for Real Madrid hasn't helped his cause either.
That he still is the top scorer in the Champions League this season is often forgotten and his poor form in front of goal in La Liga has been a centre of attention for football fans worldwide. But does he really deserve all this criticism he has been getting or they have been blown out of proportions? Has Cristiano Ronaldo been really so bad this season?
The simple answer is no. While it is true that Ronaldo has suffered in front of goals this season, his overall contribution to the team play has been much more than it has been in the last 2-3 years. This is probably the closest we have seen Ronaldo to his prime in last 2-3 seasons.
Cristiano Ronaldo has changed his style of play a lot over the last 3 years. Gone are the days when he used to be a winger on the left running past defenders for fun and scoring breathtaking goals cutting in from left. He has started playing more centrally, around the box and concentrated most of his power towards goal-scoring to preserve himself as he has crossed the 30-year old mark.
As his contribution to the build-up play decreased, his impact is often weighed in goals and rightly so. However, this season, Ronaldo has done more in build-up play for Real Madrid than in last 3 years. His chance creation rate has been more than 2 per 90 minutes in La Liga this season higher than in any of the last 3 years and his take-on completion has also improved to 77% which is significant considering the supporters of 'Cristiano Ronaldo can't dribble anymore' notion have increased.
Ronaldo seems to be moving much faster this season then he has done in recent years. If anyone wants a testament, just look at the match against Spurs when he left 3 Spurs players in dust before testing Hugo Lloris with a venomous shot.
Want another? What about his move against Alaves when he does an Elastico on the right to beat the defender and hits the inside of the post with a thunderous left-footed shot?
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 6 goals in 4 matches in the Champions League. He started off this season by scoring an incredible goal against Barcelona at Camp Nou in Spanish Super Cup before getting sent off and being suspended for 5 matches for pushing the referee. However, it is La Liga where he is yet to find his scoring boots.
Even though his general play has been good he has been criticised for not scoring goals. His finishing has let him down on a couple of occasions in La Liga but overall he has been good. He has been unlucky as he has hit the woodwork quite a few times in La Liga this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo's standards are so high that anything less than a goal per game is considered as a sign of him being out of form, and the fact he has scored only 1 goal out of 7 games in La Liga this season with a horrible conversion rate has only given air to the criticism. His other contributions are completely forgotten and he gets castigated by fans and media alike for not scoring goals. While expecting a lot of goals is okay from a player of his stature but, completely forgetting his other contributions isn't right.
Ronaldo sooner rather than later will find his goal-scoring form and he is more than capable of making up for the lost time. Don't forget he had scored only 2 goals out of 8 matches in UCL last season before going on a scoring spree against teams like Juventus, Bayern and Atletico, and eventually ending up with 12 goals in 13 matches as Real Madrid went on to retain the UCL title.
Real Madrid and Ronaldo himself will hope that he finds his goal-scoring boots soon as they look to mount a comeback in La Liga race this season. Madrid would desperately need their best player to step up in the goalscoring department if they want to retain the La Liga title.