3 games and 0 goals.
Those were the not-so-good numbers he got in his first three matches in Serie A.
Thankfully things got better and now he owns 7 goals and has assisted his partners 5 times. Pretty impressive stats!
Champions League seems to be the next assignment. 3 games played, 1 goal and 1 red card. I am sure we all agree that it does not seem to very Ronaldian thing.
Not to mention all the chances he has misses, which are a lot…
But do not worry. It’s normal!
If you have seen at least one football game of the past 12 years, for sure you noticed he has tried to score always, shooting 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 6 or 7 times per game.
And that’s what you’ve given him his reputation. With so many attempts he has more possibilities to score, it’s just statistics.
So, no reason to panic.
But statistics and numbers are not the reason for this article … performance is.
His hungry is intact, also his professionalism, his mindset, and the numbers are growing quickly. But his performance on the pitch is not convincing, at least not for everyone, including me.
Some goals were just a matter of luck, even some assists were too. He is not the same, he is not the GOAT he has been used to be and some goals cannot take that away.
But we still have to remember one very important thing: he is in a new team now.
New city, new home field and too many new fields, new coach, new rivals, and, the most important thing, new teammates.
Precisely that might be the key to understand how is that this Ronaldo seems to be different from the one that worn Real Madrid’s shirt. Maybe teammates are the key to unlock Ronaldo’s decisiveness.
4 keys to understanding Cristiano Ronaldo´s regular (and low) performances:
Alex Sandro is not Marcelo
Yes, both are lefties, Brazilians and top players, but with very different skills and tactical display.
Marcelo is basically one more winger. Attacks more than he defends and is very skillful with the ball on his feet. Bayern got a piece of that on last UCL.
Is probably faster than Alex Sandro… And has a better sense of hairstyle.
But Alex Sandro is also a good boy. Isn’t he?
Always has gas to run on that left side of the pitch. Comes and goes, defends and shows up on the front line. But he just doesn’t transmit that hierarchy.
Anyway, the most relevant thing here is Ronaldo has to adapt to his company.
Alex Sandro is his new partner, but this has not been a great partnership this far. Ronaldo must learn what to expect when he has the ball and what will be his moves.
These last years, Marcelo was a constant while attacking, always reaching the final line with speed and dribbling. Alex Sandro stills learning how to be more useful when Juventus has the ball.
CR7 will learn how to fit on that new circuit on the left of the pitch. It’s just a matter of time.
Where is my Modric?
What a coincidence! We were just speaking about circuits and partnerships on the pitch.
Luka Modric, last World Cup MVP, was pretty important on Ronaldo’s performances while he was on Real Madrid team.
I can clearly see one way of contribution that it’s not likely that Ronaldo will find on Juventus – and it is that Modric received the ball from Ronaldo every time he didn’t know what to do with it. Use your memory and try to remember who was the one that received the ball from Ronaldo every time he wasn’t able to go straight to the goal.
You are right, Luka Modric was that guy.
But there is not a Luka Modric inside Juventus squad. In fact, Juventus has a very different style of midfielders.
Ronaldo’s new immediate partners are Matuidi, Khedira or Bentancur. Dybala will be there sometimes, but the coach Allegri likes to put him on a different role.
So, we are talking about world-class players, yes. But not as Modric.
The one with a job that kind of approaches to Modric is Pjanic, and he uses to play way back of that midfield threesome.
Modric – Casemiro – Kross
Matuidi – Pjianic – Khedira
Do you see the difference, right?
Juventus creates fewer chances than Madrid and also has a lower rhythm. Modric is not here to save Ronaldo’s… feet.
And yes, same applies with Kroos or Isco.
The middle line of this old lady is very different – more physical, less technical. When Ronaldo fully understand that every chance he has is pure gold, then we may enjoy a more decisive and transcendental player.
No more Benzema
Maybe Mandzukic is not the forward of your dreams (or mines), but he will definitely give you great performances.
Lasts seasons he has surprised everyone by taking that left wing just so he could play while Higuain scored the goals.
But things are changing this season.
Mandzukic is an expert on pressing; he runs every ball and always will take advantage of rival’s mistakes. (Right, Lloris?)
He moves not to create spaces, but to fill them and fight for the ball.
Benzema played a very different role.
Lasts years he became a master of moving on the area to displace defenders and let Ronaldo score the goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Benzema was a society that might not repeat ever.
Despite the large number of critics that he receives, Benzema is a great striker. And also is Mario Mandzukic in his very own way.
It seems that they are getting along very well, but I am not sure that the same is happening with Costa, Cuadrado, Bernardeschi, and Dybala.
Not forwards, sure, but attacking players.
Dybala’s best performance was that game that Ronaldo did not play due to the suspension. Cuadrado is running as fast as always but he is very far away from his best shape.
Bernardeschi is like the fourth option to Allegri and Costa is too inconstant.
It kinds of reminds the times when no one knew if the Isco or Bale was going to be the lucky man.
This far, Ronaldo has not found his Benzema in this team, and it looks like he will need it.
Who will give the crosses from the right?
This is an underestimated topic.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a great (really great, maybe the greatest) header… but the passes need to go right to him.
If the ball is on the right side of the pitch, Carvajal or Kroos will cross it, it’s something almost biblical.
… But we are talking about Juventus now. There are no Kroos or Dani Carvajal here.
Do you remember that fantastic bicycle goal against his new team?
It came after a good and precise cross from the right.
The sad thing is that maybe the J Stadium would never be able to celebrate a goal like that.
Last matches we have seen Cancelo, De Sciglio, and Cuadrado on the right side. All are very fast and skillful, but they just don’t have the precision to make a decent cross. It’s just incredible.
At times, Dybala, Costa, and Bernardeschi could go to that place, but the three of them are lefties, so they have to change the ball to their other foot to use their preferred leg.
There is a problem here, a profile problem.
It’s not a big deal, I know, or at least it just seems little, but pay attention every time the ball is on the right and Ronaldo moves to the area.
Ronaldo is a decisive player in the air and Juventus is not taking any advantage of it.
Is he decisive right now?
Of course, he is!
But not a GOAT a decisive. Not Ballon d’Or winner decisive.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the most determinant just a few months ago. Not the most effective, skillful or friendly. But he is now definitely the most heavy-hitter.
We need to remember that Ronaldo is constructing new societies. He has adapted to that over and over again. Kaka, Benzema, Higuain, Özil, Van Nistelrooy, Nani, Tevez, Guti, Scholes, Di Maria.
I do not see a reason to expect something different this time.
Last season he scored his first goal on La Liga against Getafe. Eight matches on Calendar. And ended up being UCL top-scorer.
May just the time can decide if he will be decisive or not.