All the talk this summer was about how Cristiano Ronaldo Doesn’t fit into the plans of teams how Erik ten Hag has benched him and two poor displays for Portugal. We’re going to talk about Ronaldo’s place and whether CR7 is still helping Portugal on the pitch or holding them back or on some days hindering them alongside Fernando Santos “Portugal Manager”.
The amount of players that can compete at the top level far into their 30s has got to be a short list I’m talking about the absolute top of football top club in the Champions League and a star for their national team still and so it’s only natural that Cristiano Ronaldo has slowed down.
but with all the things that come with Ronaldo he’s got to be the highest paid he’s got to be playing he’s got to be the first choice for a pass in the attack and while some have argued that he hinders the teams he plays for despite scoring goals there seems to be a genuine conversation to be had on this subject.
let’s start with this I am a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo growing up I was a kid when he signed with Manchester United I watched Cr7 throughout his United Career to move to Real Madrid and then Juventus I tracked his career progress as any child who Loves Football & Ronaldo.
In my personal opinion it boiled down to this I think he is an incredible player one of the best of all time certainly top two of the Players I’ve been lucky enough to watch in my lifetime while they are still active of course absolute respect for his ability his professionalism.
How hard he works to be at peak fitness levels and ultimately thankful for all of this because it gave us some ridiculous moments in football history.
I mean we were blessed watching the Messi and Ronaldo battles from 2011 onward his legacy has already been written the ink is dry, and that legacy is that Ronaldo will go down as one of the top players of all time,
Or in other words CR7 is the Goat or at least one of the Goats of our generation, it mostly comes down to personal choice.
Let’s talk about his place as a starter at the Apex of the very top of football Ronaldo hasn’t been the first choice starter at Manchester United perhaps the lack of a proper preseason is part of that as Ronaldo didn’t take part in much of United’s preseason duties of family reasons.
Well, many speculate that this was all part of his ploy to force a move out of United to get Champions League football that’s ultimately speculation and the official public stance was that Ronaldo only missed preseason due to the aforementioned family issues.
Hopefully, everything is okay there I think it’s very important to remember that CR7 lost one of his sons in 2022 during childbirth and I can’t even imagine what living with that is like I mean the mental burden and sadness that would cause is something that nobody should have to go through and is just added on top of what Ronaldo already has to go through as a top athlete and one of the biggest stars in the world.
I obviously wish him the best on that front and hope that he and his family are healing yes he continued last season but grief Works in very mysterious ways and there can often be a lagging effect you dive into work or what have you to distract yourself and then there’s downtime.
When it strikes that could have been the case for him this Summer who knows but with that said really awkward pivot here I apologize but while the mental aspect off course could be and probably is affecting him on the pitch.
Most of the question marks surrounding him are of the physical side of his game he hasn’t appeared very often for united with just 207 minutes from six appearances he started one match of a 4-0 loss against Brentford and has since been relegated to the bench.
Manchester United have won the last 4 out of 5 matches in the premier league since he has been returned to the bench in the Europa League.
Ronaldo has started both matches alluding to Ronaldo becoming a cup player for Erik ten Hag I mean they lost one match and won the other in the Europa League with Ronaldo converting a penalty against the sheriff.
When Cristiano Ronaldo appeared from Manchester United this season, he hasn’t looked like the Ronaldo of old because he is Ronaldo the old now like Gandalf the gray.
He is Ronaldo the old all the things that have hampered him. While playing for Manchester united is the same thing that we saw while playing for the Portuguese national team recently.
Cristiano Ronaldo Pace in 2022
Ronaldo’s pace is the slowest we’ve seen In his career meaning he can’t get in behind defenders and he certainly can’t break past fast defenders as his acceleration has taken a major hit
I mean that’s what 37 years of age, 20 of which played at the highest level in football will do to a body his speed over the first few steps just isn’t quick enough anymore and when he has a Head start while making a run we’ve gotten used to seeing defenders catch up To him this was never really the case while he was in his prime was it?
Ronaldo Ball Control in 2022
Ronaldo has been lingering on the ball far too long where he used to just require one quick touch to settle And another touch, past the keeper.
CR7 require an additional moment which Leads to him getting closed down by Defenders and limiting his chances on top of that his control hasn’t been what It was and he snatches at chances When they come naturally with age Players have to change how they play.
As he moved more central as he aged he became more of a lethal forward and Later a striker given his incredible Aerial ability the common denominator.
For success has been his physical ability Ronaldo is a freak of nature and CR7 takes care of himself better than most athletes in any athletic discipline can boast but while he used to be able to outrun defenders, he could no longer outrun time.
and we’re starting to see that now with Ronaldo we’re starting to see a Ronaldo without one of the biggest advantages he had throughout his career which was his physical condition I won’t criticize him much for how he played for United last season as he scored goals even when they’re in turmoil his performances for Portugal recently, however, have been very different.
From what we had become used to we’ll get into how he is a burden for lack of a better word maybe not the best word, despite being the focal point and the be-all-end-all for Portugal’s attack still recently he has failed to score a goal in eight of his last nine appearances.
For any player, if you were to plot out their career you can see that as they age, they do not help their team consistently as much as they used to unless you’re a freak like Luka Modric, who must be investigated that guy cannot stop running at 37 years old.
So when you have a player who is not what he used to be who is regressing rapidly as he gets closer to 40 and yet he still demands the ball he still slaps his arms out of the side and stares to the heavens when his teammates don’t pass to him.
CR7 still demands to be the first name on the team sheet and he plays under a coach whom he has by the balls to put it plainly.
Fernando Santos won’t dare bench Ronaldo so long as he is healthy when all of that is still happening it hurts the team.
if you were to make a bar graph to illustrate Just how much Ronaldo has helped the Portuguese national team, he would be absolutely over-performing in that vertical by a long shot throughout his career until you reach around say euro 2020 where it truly went in the other direction.
Because the Portuguese national team did not have the talent back in the day to back up Ronaldo but there is absolutely an incredible crop of talent now of course Fernando Santos plays a role a massive role in holding Portugal back,
But we are checking if Ronaldo is hindering Portugal as well rather than helping them there is so much talk and debate about whether Ronaldo fits into certain systems that require pressing etc for people who write those claims off who think that’s all BS and Ronaldo can fit in any system.
Maybe we should start listening no and with Portugal the defense of having him in there all the time as the focal point was well who else will we play there and of course well we can utilize his speed on the counter since Santos only knows how to play on the counter it worked.
When Ronaldo was in his prime kind of but Portugal now has talent that can make up for a missing Ronaldo Portugal doesn’t need to put him in there and cater to him now when he isn’t the player he once was a Portuguese national team without CR7 in the past was a bang average side not good a Portuguese national team without Ronaldo in the present is an incredible side still.
but continuing to play an aging icon is causing them more harm than good at times it feels like there are just 10 players on the pitch he’s taking opportunities from players in two ways:
The obvious way is that he is taking time from other players who are in much better form and much more mobile yet his place is cemented no matter what condition or what kind of form he’s in
and two given the entirety of Portugal’s attack is built around him which was fine when he was in his prime but now out of his prime, it leaves a lot to be desired and missed opportunities when there are better options on the pitch.
I’ve spoken about this at length Ronaldo isn’t a man he’s a planet and he has his own gravitational pull on the pitch no doubt players have been conditioned by the coach to always seek him in the attack.
Ronaldo’s antics on the pitch conditioned them to always seek him out on the attack arms slapping his sides yelling at his teammates for not passing to him handing out death stares if they dare pass to someone else and it doesn’t end with a goal, and so forth
They could take on a man themselves and having an attempt at goal they could cut it back to the edge of the 18 to a player that’s open instead of trying to feed Ronaldo who is surrounded by defenders in the middle and with an out of sorts Ronaldo being the focal point of your focal point has failed to score in eight of the last nine matches and yet.
There are still those who think he has to be playing and that pointing out these things is ungrateful and hateful there’s basically a cult of Cristiano just as there is a cult of Messi as well entire social media pages dedicated to these players people who support played over clubs or countries.
Who put these players above everything else even if it’s to the detriment of their team as they come up with whatever other excuse they can in order to explain why the club or country is struggling?
It often comes down to you know a lack of support for Ronaldo or Messi from their teammates a lack of support from the manager or the fans anyone but the individual themselves is at fault and of course that comes with the territory of Mega stardom Cristiano Ronaldo is genuinely one of the biggest names in the world but with Ronaldo aging it gets harder and harder to defend him doesn’t it.
For me, it comes down to this the defense of Ronaldo was more the defense of an idea that people are hanging on to the idea that CR7 is the greatest of his generation there was indeed a time when he was the greatest of his generation a big game player that put up ridiculous numbers that only one other man was capable of
But he hasn’t been that player for so long now and so you’re left with a bunch of people who support Ronaldo rather than a club or country and now they’re finding themselves at a time where the performances of their idol are indefensible.
CR7 is one great of a generation but not this generation and yet people still defend him as if he is still at the top of the players in this generation at 37 is safe to say that his greatness was from a different era of football completely.
Ronaldo the player in September 2022 is not Ronaldo the player who is at the top of the world but then there is another type of supporter the type who supports a club Ronaldo plays for or even the country and this is where it gets sticky they feel indebted to him thanks to his past and Portugal can absolutely thank him for some of the great things he has done for Portuguese football in the past.
but once you blindly defend him no matter the form or condition, he is in and you insist he must play even if it’s to the detriment of his own club or country that’s when you get into the fanatical territory.
So the whole you show no respect for a great narrative is a tired tactic used by people who need to reassess their situation now at 37 and be honest with themselves again are you holding on to Ronaldo because you think he is the best option for Portugal or his club with the other players that are available and in better form does he fit into the tactics of most modern football teams
who has moved away from the single striker target man whatever Ronaldo is who can’t run him behind anymore because of a loss of pace and acceleration or are you just unwilling to move away from this past version of Ronaldo that doesn’t exist anymore this idea of Ronaldo from the past?
That isn’t representative of him in the present unwilling to face the fact that a player you have been supporting for years maybe even decades will move on soon and that an entire era of football is ending soon I can sympathize with that it sucks seeing your idols retire.
I do believe that Ronaldo can still score goals and be an effective player for teams of course he can if he can find his finish again which he hasn’t so far this season.
I believe he is now a player that is good for about 15 to 20 goals a season somewhere in that range depending on the competition he’s playing in of course hell he’ll probably still score goals for Portugal as well but you have to ask yourself is the overall performance of Portugal taking a hit just to cater one player by the way.
I certainly don’t think he should retire from the national team I think Ronaldo as a Super Sub is an incredible Ace up the sleeve and he can absolutely still provide the Portuguese national team with a goal threat late in a match and of course with his leadership in the dressing room.
It brings me no pleasure to see some of my favorite players fall out a favor or not get the playing time that I personally would like to see them get but what’s best for the club or national team should be the only thing guiding decisions.
People who support their club or their country more so than they support an individual will understand that persuading goals records at the expense of your team’s overall play is not what’s best for your team it’s not important to draw out this greatest player in the world debate even longer because
Both Cristiano Ronaldo & Messi Are Goats, & No One Can That Away From Them.
Again guys don’t stop supporting Ronaldo however you see fit that’s not my business nor my place to tell you how to do so keep giving him your love as no doubt what happened in his personal life coupled with his poor form on the pitch and coming to terms with his football career starting to wind down.
I mean that’s really difficult to cope with I’m sure but support him in understanding that nobody is owed minutes on the pitch nobody’s career could last forever.
What you’ve done in the past can only provide you with so much goodwill if you cannot deliver it in the present so again that’s not to say that Ronaldo has to retire he can still be an incredibly effective player in the right circumstances but it does indeed feel like in 2022 the era has started to come to an end.
Thanks for reading Sportsfeed article that turned out to be significantly longer than I expected I appreciate it and all the support from you guys it doesn’t go unnoticed let me know your thoughts in the comments section subscribe if you’re new around here and have a great day.
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