Tactical analysis of how Cristiano Ronaldo has proved 'age is just a number' in Italy


Cristiano Ronaldo has made a mockery of 'second season syndrome' at Juventus.

The Portuguese will be the first person to admit that his debut season in Turin didn't set the world alight, but he's starting to show flashes of his Real Madrid days once again in 2019/20.

In fact, Ronaldo has been a man possessed since Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or at the back end of 2019 and has scored 11 goals in his last seven games for the Old Lady.

Ronaldo is now snapping at the heals of Ciro Immobile to grab his first Golden Boot in Serie A and already has a clear advantage over Messi in the European Golden Shoe standings.

But what makes this form all the more incredible is Ronaldo's age and especially considering he just turned 35 years old earlier this year.

Ronaldo's remarkable form

You would assume that Ronaldo would slowly stagnate as his creeps deeper into his thirties, but just as he looked to be doing just that last season, he comes back with a vengeance yet again.

Just how does he do it? First and foremost, the Portuguese's stunning work-rate has kept him in the sort of physical shape that has stopped the rot while his contemporaries fade away.

However, one of Ronaldo's most underrated tropes is his tactical flexibility and how he's adapted his game to not only cope with his advancing age, but also moving to an entirely new league.


Analysis of Ronaldo

Enter 'Nouman'. The respected YouTuber is something of a wizard when it comes to tactical analyses and Ronaldo was his focus this week in light of his remarkable Juventus form.

It looks to highlight how Ronaldo has proven that 'age is just a number', so check out the full five-minute video down below and keep scrolling for our comprehensive breakdown of the findings.

'Master of blindside runs'

Blindside runs are one of Ronaldo's specialities in order to catch centre-backs off balance when they're stuck between watching the midfielder's pass and the striker over their shoulder.

This means he can ghost away from the eye-line of the defender, even feigning red-herrings into their peripheral vision, to create space in the penalty area that otherwise wouldn't emerge.

These sort of runs and behaviours are the result of Ronaldo gradually evolving his game into that of a poacher, whereas he would have attacked goal from out wide earlier on in his career.


Quick change of direction

However, that's not to say that Ronaldo has lost all his physical attributes and one of his deadliest weapons is his ability to change course with remarkable rapidity.

He's able to lure defenders into a false sense of security by deliberately treading into their 'action-zone' and then immediately altering his direction to gain a half-second advantage over them.


Reading of the game

Ronaldo has one of the most underrated footballing brains in the sport and one of the ways he's able to find so much space is by evaluating the areas opened up by his teammates.

Becoming familiar with the runs of his fellow attackers and which defenders are tracking them allows Ronaldo to manipulate the organisation of the back four to create his own openings.


To be producing these sort of attacking nuances and statistics at the age of 35 is beggar belief.

Football fans will be talking about Ronaldo for years and decades to come, so we should thank our lucky stars that such a talented athlete has put in the time and effort to stick around a little longer.

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