Is Cristiano Ronaldo actually any good at free-kicks? This is a question that has long divided football fans.
While there’s no doubt the Real Madrid superstar is a danger from set-pieces - we’ve seen him bang in some absolute beauties over the years - his underwhelming conversation rate can’t be ignored.
Back in January of this year, the Daily Mail revealed that Ronaldo had scored 20 free-kicks for Real Madrid since he arrived at the Bernabeu in the summer of 2009. Not bad, eh?
However, that statistic looks less impressive when you consider he had taken a whopping 291 free-kicks. This gave him a 6.87 per cent conversation ratio in terms of free-kicks taken to goals scored.
Lionel Messi, during the same period of time, had only scored 17 but had taken just 212 attempts - given him a superior 8.02 per cent conversion ratio.
Zidane has stuck with Ronaldo as his free-kick taker
However, Zinedine Zidane - who reportedly ‘thrashed’ Ronaldo in a free-kick competition back in January 2016 - has opted to stick with the team’s star man as his main free-kick taker.
The French coach must feel it’s simply not worth upsetting a player who guarantees at least 40 goals every season.
Besides, as Ronaldo gets older, he’s become less selfish when it comes to free-kicks. For example, on numerous occasions this season, we’ve seen the Portuguese forward allow Gareth Bale to have a crack.
This didn’t used to be the case. Whenever Madrid used to get a free-kick, Ronaldo would *always* take it.
Video: The worst free-kick of Ronaldo's career?
We all know about the magnificent free-kicks he’s scored - but his effort against Guangzhou Evergrande in August 2011 is surely the worst of his career.
Ronaldo carried out his usual pre-free-kick routine - carefully taking a few steps backwards and then exhaling - but his attempt was hilarious.
Watch it here…
(Turn down the sound because of the annoying noise on top of the video - or click on the second YouTube video)
Skip to 1:10 in the video...
Is this free-kick even worse?
The only other serious contender for worst free-kick of Ronaldo’s career is this one, taken for Portugal against Germany at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
Ronaldo, 40 yards from goal, took on the shot but ended up hitting a one-man wall comprised of the diminutive Philipp Lahm.
Watch it here…
Which of Ronaldo’s free-kicks is worse: the one against Guangzhou or the one against Germany? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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