Real Madrid relinquished their top spot in the Spanish La Liga table this weekend after being held to a goalless draw against Malaga. Los Blancos had 31 shots without scoring on Saturday evening, and forward Cristiano Ronaldo was culpable for 45%of them. The Portuguese international registered just two shots on target from 14 at the Santiago Bernabeu, and better decision-making from him could have led to Real carving a better scoring opportunity. He’s failed to score in four of five league games, and needs to be more of a team player to help them earn positive results.
Season after season, Ronaldo has become more and more single-minded in his pursuit for goals. The 30-year-old has averaged more than eight shots per game in the league this campaign, but only 10% of them are going in. It’s a very low conversion record, and one that suggests Ronaldo should be more mindful of his teammates before taking pot shots from difficult angles. Of his 49 shots taken in La Liga, more than a third of his efforts have been from outside the box – none of which have been scored.
The former Manchester United man is the most wasteful in the side based on his conversion rate, but does deliver high-scoring tallies when he’s in form. His manager Rafael Benitez has asked his talisman to think more of the team in the final third, rather than continue firing aimless shots from distance, but the Portuguese forward still calls the shots. While undoubtedly one of the games’ greatest ever players, Ronaldo doesn’t please everyone.
Ex-Real striker Gonzalo Higuain revealed he left the side as a result of Ronaldo’s ego, and such over-reliance on the experienced goalscorer hasn’t worked in the title race down the years. The best team tops the table over a long period of games, not the best set of individuals. Ronaldo scores more goals than any other player in Europe’s top leagues, but when he’s quiet in the big games he can be a negative influence.
Never too bothered about losing possession, Ronaldo’s penchant for pounding the opposition goal with shots is something he needs to reign in for the sake of the team. He’s failed to score in four of Real’s five league games this season, which is a lot of chances going to waste. It’s certainly true his teammates need to step up when he’s having a quiet game, but if Ronaldo is missing the target with so many shots, instead of looking for a teammate in a better position, it’s Real who suffer at the end.