Juventus’ elimination from the Champions League has triggered rumours about a possible return to Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo, but what would the 36-year-old actually bring to the current Los Blancos team?
Without a doubt he is still one of the most decisive players around at this time, but in order to properly analyse whether he would fit into the current side, it’s important to focus on the aspects in which Zinedine Zidane‘s charges have struggled with of late.
Real Madrid difficulties
Attacking teams who use a low defensive block:
The first difficulty to highlight was how Real Madrid struggle to attack against very defensive teams, who look to sit back with a low block near their own goal.
Zidane hasn’t yet managed to find an effective solution to this problem, and it has made the team lose numerous points throughout the course of the season.
How could Ronaldo help with this problem? Well it is something he has been perfecting over the years, and it’s his natural predatorial instinct within the penalty area.
He knows how to perfectly apply different fundamentals of being a centre-forward, in addition to completement them with a good positional sense for space.
Goals come from just one player
Since Ronaldo left, Karim Benzema has been left without a permanent partner in attack, which has forced the Frenchman to take on all attacking responsibility.
The next Real Madrid player after Benzema in terms of scoring is Marco Asensio with four, whilst Benzema has 23 this term.
Ronaldo had a great partnership with Benzema during his first stint with the club, with the duo knowing just how to complement the other without veering into their space.
Little effectiveness in the defence-attack transition
The last aspect that would help Real Madrid improve significantly would be the importance of Ronaldo in the defence-attack transitions. This phase of the game was a fearsome factor in Los Blancos’ great teams in the Ronaldo era, and that ability to counter-attack has ben lost.
There is a lack of players within the club at this moment who have the power in open space to be a threat in transition, and despite his advancing age Ronaldo remains such a player.
Summary of the analysis:
Having analysed Real Madrid’s attacking problems this season and how Ronaldo could help them, we can conclude that the return of the Portuguese icon could help solve these issues.
Of course, players like Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe could bring very similar attacking qualities, as well as assuring you a top player for the next decade.
In addition to the scoring contributions of Ronaldo, you can be assured that he would transmit his competitive character to the rest of the team, and would serve as a reference point for the generation of young players Real Madrid currently have at their disposal.