Cristiano Ronaldo had a poor start to this season by his own high standards. But, you can never underestimate CR7. Earlier in the season, he sustained a niggling knee injury and found it difficult to shake off. It prompted rumors that at 34 years of age, the Portuguese legend might, at last, be feeling the weight of his years.
At that stage, he had found the back of the net only five times. To add insult to the injury (at least from Ronaldo’s point of view), the Ballon d’Or trophy was handed to his arch-rival, Lionel Messi. Losing out in such awards is not something that Ronaldo deals with well – hence his no-shows at any of the ceremonies that have the gall not to present him with their top honors.
But sometimes, there is only one way to prove people wrong. It goes along the lines of “actions speak louder than words.” The Juventus star has stepped up the pace and scored impressively in his last seven consecutive matches. It has prompted the Gazzetta Dello Sport to headline “the return of the real Ronaldo” and for them to pose the question of whether or not the Portuguese player is the greatest forward ever to play in Italy’s Serie A.
There is no doubt that Ronaldo is one of the world’s football greats. His high standard of play throughout his career continues to inspire younger player like Kylian Mbappé, the Paris Saint-Germain star striker.
The 21-year-old has recently spoken about his admiration for the Juve star, going on to say how well Juventus are playing under Maurizio Sarri. When interviewed by the Italian football press, the young Frenchman told of how he grew up with the legend of Zidane.
Cristiano (CR7) said that he loved the great Brazilian players too; soccer / football players like Pele and Ronaldinho. He also talked about his current idol, from whom he draws inspiration – Cristiano Ronaldo.
Even before Cristiano Ronaldo put on the Juventus jersey fans were cheering for him – after his amazing bicycle kick.
But genius, in whatever form it rakes, has to be handled with care. Geniuses themselves have volatile characters, and Cristiano Ronaldo is no different. When referring to his star’s recent return to form, his manager, Maurizio Sarri, was very diplomatic.
Instead of complaining about Ronaldo’s delayed recovery from the knee injury and fueling doubts about the striker’s advancing age, he said that Juve owed the Portuguese a debt of gratitude because he had played with pain for so long.
Referring to Ronaldo getting back to form, he discounted himself for any credit saying that one can only thank his mother for bearing such a specimen. Such a diplomat. In a recent interview with Sky Sport Italia, referring to Cristiano Ronaldo, Sarri said that Juventus have a champion player who sometimes creates a problem but that on the other hand, he solved hundreds of them himself through his contributions.
He went on to say that the rest of the team has to revolve around their Portuguese star. Indeed, Sarri is setting about constructing a team around the player.
Although he is in the autumn of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo still has much to offer Juventus. He was already 33 years old when he made a move from Real Madrid to Juventus. But senior players, particularly those of Ronaldo’s class, can make a big difference. You only have to take a look at the transfer window analysis of the English Premier League, for example. It shows that 48.6% of players aged 31 and oversaw their sides winning more matches when they played.
Ronaldo is the first player for the Bianconero to score in seven consecutive matches since David Trezeguet back in the year 2005. It seems like the question of whether he is the greatest player of all time to play in Serie A is a truly serious one and one that the player could well settle himself in the coming weeks and months.
Of course there’s a class of soccer players who’ve played in Serie A who might want to claim the title of best striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo (the Brazilian one) Antonio Di Natale, David Trezeguet, Hernan Crespo, Christian Vieri , Filippo Inzaghi, Gabriel Batistuta, Francesco Totti, Andriy Shevchenko, and Alessandro Del Piero. Still though, Cristiano Ronaldo has plenty of time to score more goals for Juventus and become an Italian legend.