The showbiz signing of Juventus; Cristiano Ronaldo defers to yet another day to mark his debut goal for the Italian club.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
The greatest goalscorer of the 21st century, Cristiano Ronaldo who recently completed a move from the Spanish club Real Madrid to the Turin based Italian club Juventus, struggles to get his first official goal in the striped jersey. The Portuguese forward has recorded 658 goals in 916 appearances throughout his career which is unparalleled by any active player. Ronaldo used to score 40-50 goals every season with Real Madrid in the Spanish LaLiga, and with Manchester United in the English Premier League. The question which stands now is will he be producing similar stats in Italy as well?
The Italian league, Serie A has been regarded as the most tactically compact league which makes it a bit boring to watch their games. The formations remain intact as the Italians take pride in their reputation of being the masters of defense. The games wouldn’t end in a goalscoring feast as they don’t go for the kill if they have a lead of 1-0. The game practically ends there and then as the other team sits back at defense for rest of the match.
On the contrary, the Spanish League and the English Premier League are known for entertainment. The matches are never written off and even if one side if winning by 5-0, they would still try to get one more goal to extend the lead even if it is the 85th minute. These leagues are known for building the attack from the defense with several passes in the process. Long balls are also a part of the game to initiate counter-attacks when the defenders clear the ball for attackers to pick up and catch the opponents off guard and finish the chances. Italian league on the other hand banks more on patient build-up, horizontal passes, and back passes, as the opponents close the space. The vertical play is tough to execute and most of the build-up takes place from the flanks of the pitch.
Cristiano Ronaldo who used to be a winger and a midfielder in his initial days evolved to be a striker with a free role in the final third of the pitch. Such a role of Cristiano Ronaldo suited well in Real Madrid where he had the supply of ball from the midfielder and wingers. His job was to finish the chances like a pure poacher which he executed with the utmost diligence. With Juventus, he has been unable to score any goal in his first two official games against Chievo and Lazio. The man who averaged 1.02 goals per match with Real Madrid has now been given more of defensive duties. Against Lazio on Saturday, Ronaldo marked 1 touch inside the opponent’s box in 45 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn’t be able to score 40 goals a season anymore. Juventus didn’t purchase him to help them with the goalscoring abilities and win the Serie A title. The Turin based club bought him with the pure intention to help them win the UEFA Champions League title. The competition in which Juventus were punished by Ronaldo who scored 10 goals against his present club and denied them from advancing. Ironically, this has been the first time that Ronaldo hasn’t scored at Allianz Stadium which is the home ground of Juventus. Ronaldo visited Allianz Stadium thrice with Real Madrid and scored 4 goals. The last one being the famous overhead bicycle kick which is the favorite to win the Puskas Award (award for the most beautiful goal of the year) this season.
The former Italian striker Pierluigi Casiraghi also commented in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, on the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus saying that the ex-Real Madrid man will find it hard to get the on scoresheet in Serie A.
“Italian football and our defenses are different from Spain. Cristiano Ronaldo is here to win, but I don’t think he can get 40 goals like in La Liga.”
Former Napoli and current Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri also recently talked about Serie A. He stated that the league doesn’t offer much enthusiasm on the pitch and if the game is 2-0 at 20th minute, it is over.
The chances of Cristiano Ronaldo scoring would come mostly from set pieces like freekicks and penalties. He may score 20 goals season in Serie A and another 10 in the Champions League with his abilities and high IQ of the game. Though he wouldn’t be scoring 5 goals a game as he did in LaLiga. It is also unlikely that he will extend his tally of 51 career hattricks much further with Juventus.