Life couldn’t be much sweeter for the Real Madrid squad right now.
They’re the reigning European champions, they’re favourites to beat Napoli over two legs in the Champions League Round of 16, they were recently crowned world champions after winning the FIFA Club World Cup and, if all that wasn’t enough, they sit above Barcelona at the top of La Liga with two games in hand.
And on the face of it, the team’s star man, Cristiano Ronaldo, also appears to be playing well, too.
The Portuguese superstar, who recently picked up the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s inaugural The Best award following a remarkable 2016, has now scored 14 goals in La Liga this term following his first-half strike against Osasuna over the weekend.
Ronaldo broke the deadlock midway through the first half and Los Blancos went on to record a 3-1 win in Pamplona, with their other goals coming from Isco and Lucas Vazquez after the break.
Certain statistics can be misleading
If you went by goal statistics alone, you’d naturally presume that Ronaldo had enjoyed a pretty decent match.
One game, one goal - what more could Zinedine Zidane ask for?
Watch: Cristiano's 'highlights' v Osasuna
However, for those who watched the match - and for those who view this video of his ‘highlights’ at the Estadio El Sadar - they’ll have noticed something altogether more concerning.
Chris Henson, a Spanish football analyst, has created a video featuring all of Ronaldo’s contributions - good and bad - against Osasuna.
(You may need to click 'Watch on YouTube' due to La Liga copyright issues)
This isn’t a video designed to make Ronaldo look great or terrible; it just shows exactly what he did during his 90 minutes on the pitch.
Poor anticipation and touch (0.01)
Stray passing (0.23)
Wayward shooting (1.01 and 1.47)
Surprisingly poor first touch (1.36)
The goal papered over the cracks
But the footage shows his goal merely papered over the cracks on this occasion; Ronaldo was surprisingly poor throughout the match.
“I made this because it was a classic performance of his last 18 months,” Henson argues, “keeps scoring, rare flashes of quality, but so often wayward & poor.”
A little harsh, perhaps, but watch him closely on a weekly basis and you wouldn’t say that statement was *too* outlandish.
It's no surprise Ronaldo is slowing down
At 32, and given the number of matches he’s played throughout his illustrious career, it should come as little surprise that Ronaldo is beginning to slow down.
And it’s admirable that, regardless of his all-round contribution during matches, he finds the back of the net more often than not.
Did Madrid make a mistake with his recent contract?
However, Madrid handed Ronaldo a five-year contract worth a staggering £365,000-a-week back in November.
The former Manchester United star is tied to the Bernabeu until 2021 and recently insisted he has another 10 years left in him as a player - but does the video of his highlights against Osasuna suggest otherwise?
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