Cristiano Ronaldo is beginning to slow down. That dreaded age has come, and although it’s just the start of the year Ronaldo is not the same. Thirty is the age most players begin to slow down. Ronaldo simply doesn’t seem to be the same; his touch, pace, decision making and finishing are looking a little lackluster. He is still one of the walking legends on fields today, but is definitely beginning his decline.
Watching Ronaldo at the start of this year has been a little bit painful. He’s been caught walking and complaining to the refs a lot more than usual, but what’s most shocking is the goals he’s missing. Though he has eight goals in ten games so far (five in one game), he’s taken 73 shots. What was once easy finishes for the Portuguese Winger, have either missed the target or met the keeper. Let’s not even begin to talk about his free kick conversion rate, what was once a weapon he had in his arsenal, is now a usual over the bar trick or into the wall hack.
Don’t be worried, he hasn’t fallen off yet. The man is still a machine designed to score goals and reign terror on back 4’s. But it’s noticeable Ronaldo hasn’t been completely comfortable on the pitch. It could be complete ‘senioritis,’ as he has accomplished a full lifetime of achievements already in the sport and no one is expecting him to score sixty goals a year in his mid thirties. But this is the season where Ronaldo will begin to appear more human.
Let’s take a look into his personal life, he seems to be focusing on that a little bit more, as is noticeable on his instagram page (https://instagram.com/cristiano/?hl=en). Ronaldo is spending more time with his friends and family, and he should be! It’s no ones business but his! But all the recent posts are unlike him, he is usually all business in training/practice. It’s his life and he has deserved the right to enjoy it all, especially with his son, but you get the feeling that the sport has finally taken its place on the way out of the spotlight in his life. He appears to be focusing on the more important things right now.
Let’s not mention all the ventures he’s on. Ronaldo has to be one of the busiest men in the world right now, with CR7 underwear, CR7 footwear, Cristiano Ronaldo fragrance and philanthropic work. He runs a museum for himself and has a movie coming out soon about his life. All of these things are amazing to watch him do but they must be draining and time consuming.
Cristiano Ronaldo is not as blessed in the same fashion as Lionel Messi, in the sense of natural talent. Where Messi seems to be born with the feel, Ronaldo had to train to get to where he is. Watching Ronaldo, one can see his style isn’t nearly as natural as Messi’s and thats where the difference is drawn. Ronaldo has to train, train and keep on training day in and day out to stay in his form. But it seems he’s beginning to miss a couple things.
Ronaldo is the guy that plays through broken bones and blood. He never like’s to miss anything, just look at the World Cup, where he played on a knee that should have sat him out completely. In the 2011 Madrid derby, where Real Madrid won 4-1 over Atletico Madrid, he scored two goals with an ankle sprain/contusion. The man simply does not go down softly, so to say he’s doing any of this on purpose is not right. Ronaldo is just at that point where he knows what’s important and his body is slightly beginning to limit him.
Whether he want’s to admit it, or any of his fans do, this will be the season where we begin to see a normal man appear through the alien shell that is CR7. He will still be one of the best players on the field for at least another two years, but he won’t be what he was last year or the year before. The beginning of the slow down to one Mr. Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived and this year will be the proof.