For the second match in a row, Cristiano Ronaldo, the second best player in the world didn’t score for the second match in a row. The big news is Real Madrid, currently the second best team in Spain and Europe probably, scored 4 goals, winning convincingly and with style.
It’s not the scoring that’s the problem. There’s nothing wrong with Ronaldo scoring. His 95 goals in 101 matches for Real Madrid aren’t the reason they’re finishing behind Barcelona and watching them win Champions League trophies while they’re waiting for their first since 2002. It’s the dependency, and maybe tonight’s 4-0 win over Lyon and the weekend’s 4-1 win over Betis are signaling a change.
Lets start with the negative, or at least the less impressive spin from this. Eventually, goals or no goals, Real don’t struggle in these games. They don’t have any problem, especially at home, with 18 La Liga clubs most of the time. They got over their Lyon hurdle last season, and these group stage matches at the Bernabeu tend to be laughers for a squad at this caliber.
The bottom line is what you do against Barcelona, if you’re number one in the La Liga at the end of the season, if you held the Champions League trophy in May. These things are what great clubs, giant clubs like Real Madrid aspire to. It maybe a unhealthy way of thinking, but you don’t win more titles than anyone else by thinking small. Legends, like Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo always strive to be the best. They’re hated as much as they’re loved by the other half for it and other things, but they don’t settle for second best.
But here’s the good from these last two matches, in which Ronaldo notched up three assists. They might not need to rely on his as much when it’s time to take down Barcelona, which has to happen eventually right? The sooner the better if you ask Real Madrid fans. These matches of Ronaldo blending into the system instead of forcing the game upon his very talented two legs might be what gives Real their final piece for that jigsaw called winning the La Liga against Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.
Real often look to play a different style against Barcelona, overly relying on counter attacking, overly relying on Cristiano Ronaldo’s ability to finish matches on his own. Forget about Copa Del Rey trophies. I’m pretty sure Ronaldo, Mourinho and every Real Madrid fan will give up winning five of those for finally winning the Champions League and the La Liga. It’s about the biggest trophies. And maybe, just maybe, making these changes and hoping they’ll stick, that both the team and Cristiano Ronaldo will adapt and evolve in time for the Clasico clashes, this will be the year the power shifts back to Madrid.