Defending champions and back-to-back Champions League winners, Real Madrid have fallen eight points off the top with arch-rivals Barcelona leading the La Liga table after 11 matches. For the first time since 1995, Los Blancos failed to win any of their opening three home games. Their loss at Girona was their first defeat to a top-tier debutant since 1990. And, they’ve lost two of their last three games in all competitions so far.
Among many reasons behind their noticeable slump, the harrowing form of their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo in the league is probably the biggest. The 32-year-old was recently crowned the Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2017, but his on-field exploits so far in the league have been far from that. His own struggles in front of goal reflect Real’s across the pitch this season.
However, if there’s anything the Portuguese footballer is cherished for, it’s probably his hunger to be the best in business on the back of sheer dedication and hard-work. That’s exactly why he was seen sweating it out in training, while his Real teammates were away on international duty.
After being excused from international duty with Portugal by Coach Fernando Santos, Ronaldo decided to make full use of the extra space at the club’s training ground where he showed the old flash of brilliance we’re all accustomed to seeing with a sublime goal.
While standing on his own in the penalty area, Ronaldo met a cross with his shoulder and threw the weight of his muscular torso at the ball to send it flying towards the goal. His unbelievable shouldered effort didn’t just found the back of the net, but it did so by absolutely bamboozling the goalkeeper who was just left to watch the ball sail over his head and into the far corner.
It was arguably the perfect goal to score in front of his son Cristiano Ronaldo Jnr who was invited by his father at Real Madrid’s training ground. And, fortunately for his fans, a camera was recording at the time of the incident and the resulting video was shared on Instagram.
Continuing to amaze even at the age of 32, Ronaldo showed he can still find the back of the net – using his shoulder – as he did here in this outrageous lob during training. Surely, there was no pressure on, and crucially, no defenders in his face to distract. But, it still takes an incredible level of skill to pull off such a feat which almost made us believe that we were watching a FIFA 18 video.
In his seven La Liga appearances so far, Ronaldo has scored just one goal – his worst start to a league season at the Bernabeu. On the other hand, his rival Lionel Messi has found the back of the net on 12 occasions in 11 games. Of his 48 shots in the Spanish league this campaign, Ronaldo has a strike rate of just 2.08 per cent. He is currently 710th in the strike-rate ranking across the top five leagues in Europe.
But, despite his poor La Liga form, the Real Madrid forward has scored eight goals across all competitions, with six of those strikes coming in the UEFA Champions League.
And, going by his recent exploits in the obsessive training sessions, it won’t be long before we see Ronaldo hit the ground running, especially after he made a bet with his Real mates that he’ll bag the Pichichi award at the end of the campaign.
Photo : © Reuters (Main Image)
Source of news : Mensxp