Is Cristiano Ronaldo still a top player?
The Portugues superstar turns 33 in February.
Perhaps even the most ardent Cristiano Ronaldo Fan will agree that the Portuguese superstar has had his worst season so far since he won his first Ballon d'Or in 2008.
The Superstar has scored 18 goals and 4 assists in his 25 appearances for Real Madrid this season.
While Cristiano scored an amazing 9 goals and an assist to boot in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, it is his performance level in the Spanish league that is the most concerning for Madrid fans.
(all stats - prior to Ronaldo's two spot-kicks against Valencia)
From registering a goal or assist every 82 minutes last season in the league and every 72 minutes the season before that- Ronaldo has seen those elite numbers fall to once in every 148 minutes this season. Making him half as effective as the seasons before.
For any player not named Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, this tally would be considered as an excellent number.
However, Cristiano is a victim of his own genius. Players like Ronaldo and Messi set the bar for themselves so high that when they fail to produce the superhuman numbers that they normally do it is considered as a failure.
Adding to this, given that the 5-time Ballon d'Or winner will be turning 33 in less than a fortnight one does see whispers that Cristiano's fall from grace has begun and that he will never win a Ballon d'Or again.
However, for those falling into this trap, caution is advised.
We take a look at why Cristiano could easily bounce back and possibly fulfil his aim of winning 7 Ballon d'Or trophies before he retires.