With Ronaldo nominated for the 2014/2015 Best Player In Europe award, it had me wondering and many others for that matter, whether Madrid are pretty fortunate to have him in their team and as a result rely upon his talents too much?
I'm not writing this as a huge Madrid or Ronaldo fan, rather as someone with an interest in football and an opinion on what appears to be happening in European football.
I remember school football and there would always be players who were substantially better than others because of their speed and strength. Of course the standards wouldn't necessarily be very high and this meant the good players truly stood out.
But this gulf in talent isn't something that you expect to see in professional football. Yet the likes of Ronaldo and Messi can truly win games for their respective teams and whilst there is no major pressure in school football, in professional football this is not only a lot of pressure on one person's shoulders but also a lot to ask of them on a consistent basis...yet this is what Madrid appears to do.
The crisis that is making this an issue is that Madrid have recently played 2 pre-season warmup games and not scored a goal in either, granted their strongest team might not have been playing but guess who else was missing...that's right, Ronaldo! He was their top scorer by a long shot last season (48 goals) and if you remove that amount of goals he scored from Real Madrid's total it will make a considerable dent.
Of course a few below standard results before a season start is nothing to worry about particularly providing it gets sorted, the real issue is whether Madrid are actually that capable of attacking without Ronaldo.
What differs Madrid from Barcelona is that Barcelona have several other world class players to support their talisman, whereas Madrid don't really have anyone to significantly film that gap. All of this might not be an issue if Ronaldo remains injury-free but that is a gamble and he seems competitive enough to want to constantly challenge Messi for the player of the year award and top-scorer.
It is a difficult situation, I often regarded Ronaldo as being somewhat selfish when playing but he has the talent that is perhaps deserving of his tantrums. For instance, someone who scores more goals that three other players combined is usually a safer bet than risking a goal-scoring opportunity on someone else. Bale might have had a good season at Tottenham but he's makes nowhere near the same impact that Ronaldo can on a game.
I don't think Madrid will be too worried but they have to be able to support their talisman to get the best out of him, we've all seen a frustrated Ronaldo and I'm sure we can all agree that a happier Ronaldo is much more enjoyable to watch. He is a truly gifted player that is capable of winning games for his team and will no doubt have a long and successful career, but his team have a commitment to ensure this potential is fulfilled without burning him out and I'm not sure whether they are fulfilling their end of the bargain.