Real Madrid still have Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow lurking around the Santiago Bernabeu since he left Spain for Italy, having amassed numerous individual trophies and inspired the team’s “double-double” feat in both UEFA Champions League and La Liga Santander.
The Portugal international player has performed at top level since arriving Juventus—and is optimistic about winning his sixth Ballon d’Or.
But Real Madrid are missing Ronaldo’s goal-scoring abilities and wishing there’s someone more competent, focused, reliable and hungry for victories. This is the current reality at the Santiago Bernabeu, not just a feeling.
Considering that only Karim Benzema has lived up to expectations on goal count this season, Madrid management admits this overwhelming responsibility is too much for the France international player.
Ronaldo’s exit from the scene in the summer of 2018 was a major reason Los Blancos suffered humiliating losses in all competitions. The disappointment followed Madrid’s confident claim that his figures would be shared among players, and in the past summer, Madrid snapped Eden Hazard from Chelsea to remedy the unbearable situation.
Of course, the expectations on Hazard is far from being realized. But this does not imply that the Belgium international footballer is a flop, having scored a total of 50 goals in one season and contributing to the country’s third-place position at the 2018 World Cup. Similarly, Luka Jovic joined Los Blamcos but has struggled to find his footing.
Generally, Madrid has lost prominence since Ronaldo’s switch to Serie A. The Spanish club, surprisingly, scored five goals against Leganes but the achievement didn’t make headlines. However, Saturday’s match against Real Betis—a club Madrid could easily trash with Team B, previously—highlighted Zinedine Zidane’s challenge to restore his team’s lost glory.
Again, Madrid’s current struggles is evident in their 11.48% shot conversion rate this season—the worst performance since 2008/09. Their second worst rating, 14.79%, was in the 2018/19 season when Los Blancos had to prove their worth without Ronaldo.
In the CR7 era, Madrid’s shot conversion rate was around 20%. The current results therefore show that Los Blancos have fallen from scoring a goal in 5 shots to roughly 10 since the famous No. 7 left for Juventus.
Although football pundits believe its too early to idealize Ronaldo’s return to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, it is obvious that his presence in the Madrid squad is sorely missed.
Zinedine’s side is now 22nd best among Europe’s top scoring teams, having managed 24 goals in 14 matches. Only Barcelona (29 goals) and Villareal (25) have scored more than Madrid in Spain this 2019/20 season.
Cristiano Ronaldo admits humble love for Real Madrid
Having scored a total of 27 goals in 42 matches during his first year in Turin, his worst performance since the 2008/09 season at Manchester United, Ronaldo has said he won’t forget his success story at Real Madrid.
The Portuguese international isn’t a contender for Serie A’s highest individual prize “the Capocannoniere” given to the league’s top scorer, and he’s not interested at the moment. Even if he does, it is quite difficult for him to achieve the dream in this 2019/20.
Ronaldo, 34, has scored only 5 goals in 9 league matches while former Manchester United player, Romelu Lukaku, who currently plays for Inter Milan has a total of 9 goals in 11 games.
Ciro Immobile tops the league’s goal chart with 13 goals in 11.
Moreover, Cristiano’s goal tally falls behind records set by Luis Muriel (Atalanta, 6 goals in 9 games), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo, 7 in 9), and Duvan Zapata (Atalanta, 6 in 7).
Nothing is impossible in the world of football. That includes Ronaldo’s return to Real Madrid and a possible resurgence in his goal-scoring form.