Cristiano Ronaldo recently explained why he performs fewer skills today than he did during his Manchester United career.
The Portuguese superstar typically relies on his physical attributes - his speed and power - to beat a player.
That wasn’t the case 10 years ago, though. Ronaldo would frequently embarrasses his markers with a deft piece of trickery.
Yet Ronaldo, now 32, has realised that there’s more to football than putting on a show.
Fans watch football to be entertained but Ronaldo values three points more than any moment of magic he produces.
"In a game the most important thing is to win, and goals helps to win," Ronaldo said in an interview with freestyler Touzani.
"You can mix - first goals, and after tricks and assists after. What the people want is goals, so I try to score goals.
"I still do it (skills), not the same as at Manchester, but I still do it. Now I prefer goals, am focused more on goals. Skills comes third."
Of course, Ronaldo’s pursuit of Ballon d’Ors has played a part in his decision to switch priorities.
There’s now a huge emphasis placed on winning trophies and Ronaldo’s successes helping Real Madrid win the La Liga and Champions League last season will likely result in his claiming a fifth Ballon d’Or trophy this year, tying Lionel Messi’s record.
Still, the Portugal international isn’t akin to the odd piece of skill in training, as Borja Mayoral found out in brutal fashion on Friday.
Ronaldo wrecked Mayoral in training
Mayoral was stuck in the middle of a rondo and suffered the ultimate humiliation when Ronaldo nutmegged him with a reverse elastico.
The reaction from Ronaldo’s teammates, Marcelo in particular, sums up how filthy it was. Check it out below.
It’ll take some time for Mayoral to recover from that.
CR7's skills caught Man United's eye in 2003
It was Ronaldo’s electrifying skills that first caught Man United’s eye in 2003.
While playing for Sporting Lisbon as an 18-year-old, Ronaldo left John O’Shea chasing shadows throughout the first half.
"It was the first time I'd seen Cristiano Ronaldo play," Gary Neville said last year. "He was up against John O'Shea, who was obviously a good defender; he was strong, he was quick and he knew where to position himself.
"I specifically remember Cristiano making a certain move where he cut inside and ran between O'Shea and our centre-half.
"He made this double movement and I remember thinking 'oh my God’.”
Those are probably the three words Mayoral uttered after Ronaldo wrecked him.
Who is the most skilful player in football right now? Let us know in the comments section below!
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