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Opinion: Would The Real Ronaldo Please Stand Up!

Over the weekend, Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid lost the La Liga lead to bitter rivals FC Barcelona. The Portuguese, once again, failed to score as his side looked toothless and without a Plan B. That’s why I would like to see the real Ronaldo – the one who won the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or and banged in goals left, right and centre – make his return to the pitch.

Read: Opinion: Is Mourinho’s Bus Slowing Down?

Ronaldo was once again a shadow of the player who dominated world football before his Ballon d’Or triumph, drawing his sixth blank since the turn of the year for the team. He has now only scored two league goals in his last eight league games – two of which he missed due to suspension. The Portuguese scored an impressive 13 goals in just seven games in the first half of the season, but has now only managed two goals against the very same opponents in the second half of the campaign.

In the 11 La Liga matches played so far in 2015, Ronaldo has only scored five goals, with Real having lost three and drawn another. What makes things worse is that his assists have decreased too, with the superstar having only set up three La Liga goals for his teammates.

Since his Ballon d’Or triumph, Ronaldo’s goals-per-game ratio has dropped from 1.63 to just 0.57, while his assists-per-game average has dropped from 0.56 to 0.14. Coincidently, Lionel Messi has exploded since Ronaldo claimed the prestigious award for a second successive year. The Argentine has closed the 12-goal gap between his long-standing rival. In addition Messi’s goals-per-game average has jumped from 0.89 to 1.75, while his assists average has risen from 0.44 to 0.75.

At the current rate, Messi will not only beat Ronaldo as La Liga’s best goalscorer as both are tied on 30 goals now, he could also break his own world record for most goals in a calendar year.

Messi’s resurgence has also inspired his teammates, with Neymar having scored 12 goals and Luis Suarez 10 since the turn of the year. Overall the Catalan club’s attacking trio has now scored 40 goals in all competitions in 2015, while Real Madrid’s BBC (Bale, Benzema and Cristiano) have only scored 18 during the same period. Bale, in particular, seems to be struggling in his second season at the Santiago Bernabeu and is frequently being jeered from the stands for being selfish.

Nowadays the Welshman seems unsure whether to take a shot himself or try to set up his teammates, with Ronaldo at times left fuming when Bale fails to look for the pass. Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that his attacking trio looked “disorganised” and was playing “sluggish” football while “taking too many touches”.

Read: How Much Does Ronaldo Earn?

The Italian will need to turn things around very quickly, because arguably their biggest game of the season – the El Clasico at the Camp Nou – is less than two weeks away. If Ronaldo doesn’t come to the party, Real’s season might be over at the end of March. So, the real Ronaldo better stand up, like he has done with his brace in the Champions League against Schalke, before he finds himself in the shadow of Messi once again…

Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo will return to his best? Have your say in the comment section below.

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