Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players to ever play the game, but is it time for him to drop his ego in order to obtain future success?
Years have passed and now the 31-year-old is coming fresh off of his 2015/16 UEFA Champions League Final victory, making it two in three years. So, why on earth would he need to change his ways?
Despite having nearly a perfect goal-to-game ratio, Ronaldo’s impact will – and has – decline as the years creep on. Therefore, if the Portugal international wants to win, he needs to replicate LeBron James in the NBA.
James and Ronaldo have had like-for-like careers. ‘The King’ returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers to join up with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. James welcomes additional superstar help. Ronaldo doesn’t; he loves the spotlight.
Whilst James’ averages will decrease, team success will continue. Ronaldo must decide, does he want to continuously win trophies, or does he want the Spanish spotlight and superior status?
If he wants that, he can copy Zlatan Ibrahimovic and head for PSG, where he’d star, albeit in a weaker league. However, he could copy NBA star, James, and become the ultimate team player.
Real drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid, needing a Ronaldo penalty in the shoot-out to get their 11th European title. It was a struggle, they were shattered and Ronaldo was hurting; he couldn’t bail Real out in normal time. And a year on from now, even his spot-kick might not be an option and that’s something CR7 must prepare for.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 28, 2016
You might wonder about his star-studded team-mates. He has some help from the likes of Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale. However, there’s no doubting that he was less than excited about Bale’s arrival. Although the Welshman has shared the burden, it’s clear that Ronaldo is still the man of the moment, and the one who all of their attacking play runs through.
At 31, CR7 needs to relish the company of Bale and any other incoming superstars being able to support him – if he wants to keep his seat on the throne, that is. He might not be one to want to share the limelight, but within the next year or two, he is going to have some choices to make.
Does he value personal or team honours more? We’re going to find out, and it might not be pretty, but if Ronaldo alters his mindset, greatness can continue until the end of his footballing days.
Over to you, Ronnie.