FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has struggled to convert penalties, while Cristiano Ronaldo hardly ever scores a free-kick these days – should the two superstars be taken off their set-piece duties?
Messi missed his sixth penalty in La Liga on Sunday, against Levante, the 17th out of 81 for club and country overall in his career.
The 28-year-old converted 38 of his 44 spot-kicks in the league, but has a failure rate of 13.64% - which rises to 21% overall.
Only Cesar and Samuel Eto’o have missed more for the Catalan giants, while no other player has missed more over the last 10 La Liga seasons.
With Neymar, Barcelona might have a calmer penalty taker in their ranks, and the Brazilian could take some pressure off Messi’s shoulders.
Similar to Messi’s penalty woes is Ronaldo’s recent free-kick record. The Portuguese has scored 25 goals from 347 attempts since arriving at Real in 2009, according to AS.
This calculates to a success rate of just 7.2% or one goal every 14 attempts, and is much worse than when he started at the club. In his first season, he scored six of 45 free-kicks, which calculates to a success rate of 13.3%.
Last season, however, this rate dropped down to just 4% after the 30-year-old just scored two from 52 attempts - as he almost went a whole year without scoring one.
Real have other free-kick experts in Gareth Bale (13% success rate) and James Rodriguez (40% success rate), so it might be wise for Ronaldo to hand over his free-kick duties.
Do you think Messi should still take penalties and Ronaldo should continue taking free-kicks? Have your say in the comments section below.