Stats prove Cristiano Ronaldo has been nothing but a flat-track bully this season
It was a mixed year for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2015. After winning his third Ballon d’Or at the start of 2015, many expected him to push on and improve on his incredible accomplishments. Ronaldo did just that but only until the end of the 2014/15 season.
Although Real Madrid went trophyless, Ronaldo took home his third Pichichi trophy with 48 goals in La Liga – just two goals shy of Lionel Messi’s record of 50 goals in the 2011/12 campaign. He would even win his fourth European Golden Shoe – a new record.
With a number of records to his name, only one more mattered as the 2015/16 season got underway – the title of Real Madrid’s all-time top goalscorer. With Raul’s mark of 323 waiting to be toppled, Ronaldo set out to make history. But it wasn’t until October when he broke the record. Since then, he has scored a few more but hardly any goals worth mentioning.
Ronaldo has mainly scored against teams in the bottom half of the table
The trend suggests that Ronaldo has only scored against inferior opposition this term. Even though he was played up front on a few occasions with Karim Benzema out injured, Ronaldo has not exactly set the league on fire as he normally does. Although he is second highest goalscorer with 14 goals so far, behind Barcelona’s Luis Suarez (15), his minutes per goal ratio has dropped.
Suarez has scored 15 goals – a goal every 96 minutes. Even Neymar has scored 14 goals – the same as Ronaldo – a goal every 96 minutes. But the Portuguese forward has scored a goal every 116 minutes – a far cry from his regular exploits. Of those 14 goals, more than a third came against Espanyol who were thrashed 6-0.
When you consider opponents in the top half of the table, Ronaldo has only scored one goal apiece against Celta Vigo (5th) and Eibar (8th). The only team Real Madrid are yet to play in the top 10 are Deportivo. Ronaldo has failed to score against more established teams such as derby rivals Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, who beat them 4-0 in the Clasico, Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal.
At the same stage last season, Ronaldo had scored once against Atletico Madrid, one goal against Villarreal, a hat-trick against both Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo, a brace against Eibar and a goal in the Clasico. Not to mention scoring in all but one group game in the Champions League last season.
In contrast, Suarez has scored against most of the top sides such as Athletic Bilbao (1), Eibar (3), Villarreal (2), Real Madrid (2) and Valencia (1) while Neymar has scored against Atletico Madrid (1), Celta Vigo (1), Sevilla (1), Villarreal (2) and Real Madrid (1).
What is also interesting to note is that even though he was the top goalscorer in the Champions League group stages this season with 11 goals, six of those were scored against minnows Malmo while 5 were scored against an unimpressive Shakhtar Donetsk side. Against PSG, he played 180 minutes and failed to score in both games.
|OPPONENT||POSITION IN LA LIGA||GAMES PLAYED||GOALS SCORED|
|FF Malmo (UCL)||N/A||2||6|
|Shakhtar Donetsk (UCL)||N/A||2||5|
|Paris Saint-Germain (UCL)||N/A||2||0|
Stats via MisterChip