Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly the best player to have worn a Real Madrid kit. The striker has been the ultimate catalyst for Los Blancos over the years. The Portuguese international has won numerous trophies and awards in his time at Santiago Bernabeu and has also tasted individual success by lifting the Ballon d’Or a record five times.
His stats and numbers are off the charts. Ronaldo is Madrid’s most prolific goalscorer with 451 goals in 9 seasons with the club. He is also the all-time top scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 120 goals overall.
He has won a total of 16 titles with Real which include two La Liga titles, two Copa Del Rey titles, five UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cups. He is surely one of Madrid’s most decorated players and it is a joy to watch him play.
But football is football, and players must move on. At the age of 33, one might argue that Cristiano Ronaldo has overachieved with Los Blancos. He has won everything there is to win with the club and it is fair to suggest that perhaps it is time for him to bow down and move on.
There would be no regrets or hard feelings from the Bernabeu faithful, only love. Ronaldo has made Real Madrid the team they are today and his efforts will always be remembered and cherished by football fans all over the world.
However, a player’s age will always play a major role in his performance. Ronaldo started last season in the worst form of his life but he gradually went from a Subaru to a Ferrari as the season progressed. It’s also evident that the striker’s body is slowly losing its ability to maintain the consistency he once did. His numbers have drastically reduced over the last two years.
At the age of 33, Ronaldo has already proven all his critics wrong with his all-round displays. He has silenced all his naysayers and has done so proudly. But the Madrid fans are not kind when it comes to bad spells. After all, we are talking about a crowd that often booed the legendary Iker Casillas towards the end of his career. The goalkeeper was a stalwart between the sticks for Los Blancos for many years, and yet it didn’t matter to the fans.
They wanted change, and change was what they got. Since there is immense pressure on him to score the big numbers season after season, Ronaldo could face a similar case with the fans. It would be shameful to see the fans do so but it is a possibility.
With the departure of Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo also must call his time at the club. The striker could go to any other club in the world if he wanted, maybe even back to Manchester United. But the time to leave Madrid is now. Zidane made the smart decision to end his reign on a high and Ronaldo should do the same. It will surely leave a mark in the minds of the Madrid fans, but it’s for the player’s own good.