Friday, 13 April 2012

Ronaldo to the rescue

On Wednesday night during a dramatic second half at the Vicente Calderon Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly wrestled back the La Liga title for Real Madrid. It was a phenomenal performance from the Portuguese superstar when his side most needed it. Having dropped six points in recent weeks the title looked for a brief second to be within Barcelona’s clutches but Ronaldo quite clearly had other ideas.

It was another virtuoso performance from Ronaldo who is continuing to break all records as his remarkable career continues to flourish. He now has 40 goals in 32 games in the league this season with another 11 assists; the word phenomenal is usually sufficient in an example like this but in this instance it still doesn’t cover it.

Unfortunately for the Portuguese player he is playing at the same moment as one Lionel Messi who has won the last three Ballon d’Or titles ahead of him. If he had been playing in any other era he would be heralded as the greatest of his generation and certainly one of the best players of all time. Instead he is widely regarded as a amazing player but remains inferior to Messi in many people’s eyes. Certainly during his spell at Manchester United there were elements to his game that were selfish and a little immature but his development in the last three years at Madrid has turned him into the perfect modern day football player.

Standing at a little over six feet tall he is remarkably good in the air and is one of the biggest aerial threats in football. Playing in England during his late teens and early twenties has also toughened him up to the physical demands of the game and his strength on the ball is staggering. When you also throw in the fact that he is very competent on his wrong foot and is able to take free kicks with immense precision (his free-kick accuracy has been poor this season until a few weeks ago, he has since scored directly from three free-kicks) is surely enough to make him the world’s number one player?

Although many in England still dislike his arrogance and will never forgive him for winking at the TV cameras after getting Wayne Rooney sent off against England he must, and should be appreciated by any football fan, whatever your allegiance. He is said to be a very personable and amiable man off the pitch and clearly just loves playing the game. His talent was always noticeable, especially during his early years at Manchester United and it is wonderful to see that it has blossomed and developed into what it has today.

In a world obsessed with comparisons and rivalries it is a shame Ronaldo’s talent is not appreciated as much as it should be. He is a truly great player and is achieving things at Madrid that may well never be equalled. It is a great shame that the shadow of Messi looms over the Portuguese star at times and it is almost impossible to mention one without the other anymore. At this moment in time we have Messi and Ronaldo performing to levels not seen before and it should be enjoyed to the fullest.

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