Cristiano Ronaldo is a Real Madrid legend and arguably the best player in the world, but unfortunately football is a team game and individual success must sometimes be sacrificed on the altar of the team.
Last season Sergio Ramos berated the 31-year-old by saying: “You can’t just score your little goal and forget the rest. You need to sacrifice yourself for the team more.”
If anything the situation has become worse therefore, the Portuguese should leave Real Madrid if they fail to win the Champions League this season.
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Since joining Madrid in 2010, Ronaldo has scored 256 times in 234 games and has won 2 Ballon d’Ors. However during these six years, Los Blancos have won just one La Liga and one Champions League. By way of contrast, during the six years at Manchester United, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles in addition to one Champions League and a Ballon d’Or.
To have maintained the high level of success that he reached at the end of his time at Old Trafford for another six years was truly an amazing achievement, but it can be argued that it has come at the expense of the Madrid team.
Currently sitting third in La Liga, a failure to win this year’s Champions League would make it hard to justify Ronaldo continuing his personal ‘Football Frankenstein’ experiment. He is as good as he is ever going to get but maybe it is just not good enough.
So here, in reverse order, are three reasons why Ronaldo should leave Madrid if they fail to win the Champions League.
3. Ronaldo plays for himself
This season Ronaldo has criticised his team-mates, and Gareth Bale in particular constantly needs to deny reports of a rift between the two. Also not wanting Luis Suarez at the Bernabeu when the Uruguayan wanted to join Los Blancos was, in hindsight, a huge error by a huge ego.
The opinion that Ronaldo plays for himself at the expense of the team is widely accepted. His goal-scoring record is second to none at the Bernabeu but his primary concern from day one was to eclipse Lionel Messi. The only title Ronaldo really wants to win is “the best player in the world.”
2. MSN is better than BBC
With Messi rising to the challenge and maintaining his own remarkable goal-scoring ratio over the last six years it has rendered Ronaldo’s efforts redundant. Suarez has been able to link up successfully with Messi and Neymar to take Barcelona to a new level which has caught the Madrid hierarchy by surprise.
The ages of Messi (28), Suarez (29), Neymar (24) also gives Barcelona an edge over Kazim Benzema (28), Bale (26) and Ronaldo (31) in terms of their ability to maintain their performance levels in the seasons to come. It is therefore, unlikely that Madrid will overtake their Nou Camp rivals anytime soon.
1. Real Madrid want Neymar
By allowing Ronaldo to leave, it would make way for Neymar to go to the Bernabeu, a move supported by fellow Brazilian legends Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho. Neymar could then become the main man alongside Bale, finally giving the Welshman the opportunity to step out of Ronaldo’s shadow and cease to be the master’s apprentice.
Buying Neymar would also weaken the MSN and make the two arch-rival teams more equal. However the balance will be tipped in Madrid’s favour because time is on Neymar and Bale’s side and in a couple of years, Suarez and Messi will be 31 and 30 respectively, leaving Barca with the same problem that Los Blancos now have with Ronaldo.