Cristiano Ronaldo was all skill and little end product when he arrived at Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2003.
His first three seasons at Old Trafford were, in truth, frustrating for United’s supporters. One minute he’d look like a world-beater and the next an overrated show-pony. Consistency was an issue.
However, from the summer of 2006 onwards, he was a totally different animal. Having bulked up within the space of a few short months, Ronaldo completed his transformation from skinny youngster to unstoppable machine.
The skills remained but his end product increased tenfold. By 2008 he was a Ballon d’Or winner.
The realisation that end product was more important than flashy skills would serve Ronaldo extremely well for the rest of his career.
His extraordinary 450 goals in 438 games for Real Madrid will be part of football folklore for the rest of time.
Now with Juventus, at the age of 33, Ronaldo is still one of world football’s most effective forwards.
Because of his advancing years, it’s only natural that his pace isn’t what it once was. He used to be one of the fastest players on the planet and his speed would allow him to ghost past opponents with ease.
However, a superb three-and-a-half-minute video has emerged which shows Ronaldo humiliating various players in one-on-one situations using skills rather than speed.
Watch it here…
Class. Some of those little moves are breathtakingly good.
Lionel Messi is often rated as the better of the two superstars in one-v-one situations - and fairly so, perhaps - but Ronaldo has embarrassed more than his fair share of players over the years with his excellent close control and improvisation.
The video, which was uploaded to YouTube earlier this month, has already been viewed over one million times.
Hopefully we’ll see Ronaldo humiliating many more opponents before he hangs up his boots.