Zinedine Zidane decided to bring Cristiano Ronaldo off in Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw against Las Palmas.
With 75 minutes on the clock and Real Madrid winning 2-1, manager Zinedine Zidane decided to bring off his star attacker Cristiano Ronaldo. The Frenchman possibly brought off the Portuguese as a precautionary measure for the Champions League tie on Wednesday, but reports have suggested that the player was unhappy at being withdrawn from the field of play.
Ronaldo has made a name in the sport for his never-say-die attitude and willingness to compete in any condition. He’s one of the few players who possesses such attributes, which is why he’s among the best footballers in the world.
Thus, when he was substituted in Saturday’s La Liga game against Las Palmas, millions of eyebrows were raised around the world, questioning Zidane’s decision. But the manager was right in his actions to bring off the Los Blancos superstar.
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Ronaldo is definitely not in the best shape after a grueling Euro 2016 Championships. He guided Portugal single-handedly into the knockout stages and was probably their best player in the competition.
But since mid-July to now, the 31-year-old has featured in just four games for the Spanish giants, playing out the full 90 minutes in just two of them. He has been far from his prolific self and has managed to rack up a tally of a goal every two games – which is far from the usual standards he sets for himself.
But it comes as very little surprise. He is looking a shadow of his lethal self as he lacks the match sharpness he is known for. His first touch has often let him down and he does not seem to have his head in the game.
Despite being athletic and physical on the field, he is struggling to maintain fitness after succumbing to numerous injuries. His is struggling to maintain his balance and has often been on the receiving end of some unpleasant challenges.
In fact, Real Madrid have not really missed Ronaldo during his injury layoff and that probably is a blessing in disguise for manager Zinedine Zidane. Often labelled as a one man team, Los Blancos proved how much of a fluid side they were during the absence of their Portuguese talisman.
Youngster Marco Asensio has been handed an extended spell under the spotlight and has shot to stardom as Real Madrid’s next big thing. Gareth Bale has continued to shine despite receiving slack from his critics every now and then, and to be honest, it looked like the same Madrid side with or without Ronaldo in it.
The Real Madrid number 7 has two goals in four games this season and should at least double his tally if not multiply four times. As the UEFA’s Best Player in Europe, there is an added expectation on him to deliver, but that unfortunately has not happened.
While there are no doubts about him regaining his form and composure, Zidane is absolutely right in his treatment of the player. The Frenchman is known to treat all his players in the same way, and if they aren’t up to the mark, they are deservedly reprimanded for it.