28.10.2021 » How has Ronaldo performed in his first months for Man United?
Soccer is full of great rivalries. In England, there is Liverpool and Manchester United, two clubs who have similar origins, and are from two cities only 40 miles apart, but with fans who cannot stand each other. In Spain, no teams hate each other more than Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are separated by contrasting ideologies, as well as footballing cultures. In Italy, the most intense rivalry is arguably between two sides who share the same stadium, Internazionale and AC Milan, who both play their home games at the San Siro. It is these conflicts between two teams that are easy for neutrals to follow, and matches involving these clubs will always attract a lot of attention.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Skills and goals:
A long-time rivalry...
The rivalries don't just have to be between teams, as sometimes they can be between managers, or even players. The most obvious example would be the personal rivalry between Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The two best players on the planet for the last 15 years, have competed for many years on both the domestic and international level. Last summer, they even competed in terms of internet clicks, as both men moved clubs. Messi joined Paris Saint Germain, while Ronaldo went back to Manchester United, where he made his name as a teenager many years ago.
Fans of Manchester United were thrilled to get their superstar back at the club, and were hopeful that his signing would make them real contenders for success, both in the Premier League and the Champions League. Now, soccer fans all over the world watch United's games, and will use their smartphones to find EPL odds on their sports betting apps, to see what odds they can get on Ronaldo scoring in each game, and United winning. So how has Ronaldo been performing for the Red Devils since he re-joined them? Let’s have a look to see how he has been getting on.
A constant goal threat
When Manchester United agreed to Ronaldo's incredibly high wage demands (rumoured to be around £480,000 per week) they knew that it would be worth it, simply because there are few players in the history of the game who are so reliable when it comes to scoring goals. Throughout his long career, he just knows the right positions to take up, and 680 goals prove he can find the net with ease.
This was proved in his first game, a home fixture against Newcastle United. Ronaldo and his side took a while to get going, but just before half-time, the ball ricocheted directly to his feet, and made no mistake in tucking it away to give Manchester United the lead. His goalscoring exploits didn't end there that day, as in the second half he ran onto a through ball by Luke Shaw, beating two defenders to the ball, before cooly slotting it through the goalkeeper’s legs.
So far in the Premier League, he has netted three times in six games, with his other goal coming against West Ham. In the Champions League he has also performed incredibly well, finding the goal on three occasions in three games. He scored the opening goal of the game against the Swiss side Young Boys, a last minute winner at Old Trafford against the Spanish team Villarreal, then also completed the turnaround against the Italian side Atalanta, grabbing the third in a 3-2 win. Clearly, in terms of goal return, he has lived up to expectations so far.
Just looking at the number of goals that Ronaldo has scored to analyse his performances isn’t quite enough. Yes, that is mainly what he is on the pitch to do, but in the modern game, forward players such as Ronaldo have to be able to do so much more than just score goals.
It is safe to say that Ronaldo was not a long-term target for United and their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and that they only moved for him once it was known he was available. By doing so, and having to play him in every game, United have had to change their entire method of playing. United have done well under Solskjær by effectively counter-attacking, but playing with Ronaldo, who can’t continuously run up and down the pitch as he could previously, they’ve largely abandoned that tactic.
At 36, he also doesn't seem to be able to press defenders, to try to force them into mistakes high up the pitch. So, he can be easily bypassed, giving the midfielders more and more work to do.
United have had some terrible results recently, losing to Aston Villa 1-0, handily beaten 4-2 by Leicester, before being utterly embarrassed by Liverpool, at Old Trafford, 5-0. Ronaldo was very poor in all three games, and should have been sent off against Liverpool, for kicking out at Curtis Jones.
Will Solskjær (or another manager possibly) find a way to improve Ronaldo's performances, so he can offer more than just goals against lesser opposition? It's hard to see how, but something needs to change, and fast, if United are to win anything this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Manchester United is on October 30, against Tottenham. You can watch Tottenham vs Manchester United, Elche vs Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona, Manchester City vs Crystal Palace, Leicester City vs Arsenal, and PSG vs Lille, all matches provided from our football live game pages.
Manchester United next game:
Tottenham vs Manchester United kick-off time (30-10-2021):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 00:30
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 23:30
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 22:00
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+2: 18:30
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 18:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 17:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 14:30
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 13:30
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 10:30
Sources: ronaldo7.net / theguardian.com / theathletic.com / independent.co.uk