Cristiano Ronaldo used to be deadly from free-kicks. The Portuguese superstar even invented an unusual but hugely effective way of striking the ball from set-pieces during his spell with Manchester United.
He scored a fair number during his first few years with Real Madrid but the sight of him celebrating after netting direct from a set-piece has become increasingly rare over recent seasons.
Surely, with the talent in his squad, Zinedine Zidane should be looking to put another Real Madrid player on free-kicks. When you scroll down and see how many the three-time Ballon d’Or winner has netted from his last 100 attempts, you’ll understand why.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Sport have revealed that CR7 has scored three free-kicks from his last 100 attempts with Real Madrid and Portugal - pretty disappointing stats.
Los Blancos have several dead-ball specialists in their ranks - including James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale - but these players rarely get a look-in when Ronaldo’s on the pitch.
It was even reported recently - by Spanish newspaper Marca - that Zidane took on Ronaldo in a friendly free-kick competition on the training ground and thrashed him.
Ronaldo reportedly scored two of his 10 attempts, while Zidane - who joked “watch and learn how to take a free-kick” - beat the goalkeeper from almost every attempt.
Cristiano is becoming less influential
Now 31, Cristiano is beginning to slow down and is becoming less influential in the biggest matches.
He has failed to score in important fixtures against Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Villarreal, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao or Paris Saint-Germain this season.
But, somewhat remarkably, he still has 30 goals from 29 matches this season - thanks largely to hauls against the likes of Malmo and Espanyol.
Should Zinedine Zidane take Cristiano Ronaldo off free-kicks? Have your say by leaving a comment below.