Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly the best player to have worn a Real Madrid kit. The striker has been the ultimate catalyst for Los Blancos over the years. The Portuguese international has won numerous trophies and awards in his time at Santiago Bernabeu and has also tasted individual success by lifting the Ballon d’Or a record five times.
His stats and numbers are off the charts. Ronaldo is Madrid’s most prolific goalscorer with 451 goals in 9 seasons with the club. He is also the all-time top scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 120 goals overall.
He has won a total of 16 titles with Real which include two La Liga titles, two Copa Del Rey titles, five UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cups. He is surely one of Madrid’s most decorated players and it is a joy to watch him play.
But football is football, and players must move on. At the age of 33, one might argue that Cristiano Ronaldo has overachieved with Los Blancos. He has won everything there is to win with the club and it is fair to suggest that perhaps it is time for him to bow down and move on.
There would be no regrets or hard feelings from the Bernabeu faithful, only love. Ronaldo has made Real Madrid the team they are today and his efforts will always be remembered and cherished by football fans all over the world.
However, a player’s age will always play a major role in his performance. Ronaldo started last season in the worst form of his life but he gradually went from a Subaru to a Ferrari as the season progressed. It’s also evident that the striker’s body is slowly losing its ability to maintain the consistency he once did. His numbers have drastically reduced over the last two years.
At the age of 33, Ronaldo has already proven all his critics wrong with his all-round displays. He has silenced all his naysayers and has done so proudly. But the Madrid fans are not kind when it comes to bad spells. After all, we are talking about a crowd that often booed the legendary Iker Casillas towards the end of his career. The goalkeeper was a stalwart between the sticks for Los Blancos for many years, and yet it didn’t matter to the fans.
They wanted change, and change was what they got. Since there is immense pressure on him to score the big numbers season after season, Ronaldo could face a similar case with the fans. It would be shameful to see the fans do so but it is a possibility.
With the departure of Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo also must call his time at the club. The striker could go to any other club in the world if he wanted, maybe even back to Manchester United. But the time to leave Madrid is now. Zidane made the smart decision to end his reign on a high and Ronaldo should do the same. It will surely leave a mark in the minds of the Madrid fans, but it’s for the player’s own good.
Three possible destinations for this £93.2m Man United star – including La Liga champions
Three possible destinations Paul Pogba must consider moving to
Manchester United are in a complete disarray at the moment. They capped off a terrible week by dropping points against Wolverhampton Wanderers at home, losing to Derby County on penalties in the League Cup and then losing away to West Ham United.
One of the main reasons for this rot is an obvious tension that exists between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba. The club seem to be backing the manager at the moment (h/t The Telegraph) and if that’s the stand of Ed Woodward, the Frenchman could be forced to leave Old Trafford.
Here, we look at three possible destinations for Paul Pogba.
A recent report from Daily Express had claimed that Barcelona wanted the World Cup winner in the summer but were rebuffed by the United board. But the Catalans could get their hands on the coveted Frenchman next summer.
Barcelona acquired Phillipe Coutinho earlier this year but with Ivan Rakitic ageing, they must aim to strengthen their midfield by signing Pogba. The Spanish giants are one of the biggest brands in world football and this move would undoubtedly reap huge financial benefits for both parties.
But to get him, Barcelona must break the world record transfer fee for the midfielder. After all, he joined United for a fee of £93.2m. However, this shouldn’t be a problem for them as they have are capable of paying hefty sums of money.
Over the past few seasons, no club has invested more in huge transfers and big-name players than PSG. But their plan to conquer Europe hasn’t gone according to plan. In fact, the club, under their Qatari ownership, haven’t reached the semi-finals of the Champions League even once.
But that could change if they manage to sign Pogba. He could form a formidable partnership with the likes of Marco Verratti and Adrian Rabiot, thus helping PSG reach the pinnacle of European football. Furthermore, given their deep pockets, they could table a huge offer that might be too good for Manchester United to turn down.
When Barcelona are linked with a player, how can Real Madrid be far behind? Over the past few seasons, Los Blancos have adopted a relatively conservative transfer policy. But it was shocking that the club didn’t sign a single player to replace Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.
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After winning the World Cup, Paul Pogba has become a brand. Signing the Frenchman on a huge transfer fee will certainly get the Galacticos’ era going again. Also, Luka Modric, the FIFA Player of the year, is at the twilight of his career and Pogba could be a capable successor for the Croatian.
2 tackles and 2 key passes – This versatile superstar holds the key to Tottenham’s success against Barcelona
Kieran Trippier holds the key to Tottenham’s success against Barcelona
Tottenham Hotspur have made a mixed start to their season this time around. After a glorious start which saw the Lilywhites enjoy a winning streak of three games, including a 3-0 humbling of Manchester United at Old Trafford, Spurs lost momentum with back-to-back defeats at the hands of Watford and Liverpool.
They couldn’t turn their fortunes around in the Champions League as well and suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Inter Milan on matchday one. When Christian Eriksen put the visitors in the driver’s seat early in the second half, it seemed as if the Lilywhites were about to bag all three points.
However, a late blast from the Italian giants turned the game on its head. Mauro Icardi’s clinical finish followed by Matias Vecino’s injury-time header ensured the miseries continued for Pochettino’s men.
However, Spurs have done a better job since that defeat and have resurrected their campaign with victories over Brighton and Huddersfield Town. Although they looked good in those two games, things will be different when they play host to Barcelona on Wednesday.
Spurs were without the services of Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld during the trip to Italy to face Inter. While the Lilywhites should be buoyed by their return, they do have several injury issues. The absence of playmaker Christian Eriksen and attacking midfielder Dele Alli should be a major cause of concern for the manager while Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen will face a late fitness test after suffering muscle strains.
The long list of injuries will not do any good to Spurs’ chances of coming away with a positive result. The two teams will clash for only the third time in their history and for the first time since 1982 when Barcelona beat Spurs 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup.
Barcelona will be the outright favourites to win the game despite the recent La Liga results. In fact, they registered an emphatic 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven on matchday one with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick. But Spurs should take heart from the fact that Barcelona have won only one out of their last seven Champions League games away from home.
Spurs must produce one of their best performances in recent times to mount a significant challenge against a star-studded Barcelona line-up. Undoubtedly, all eyes will be on Harry Kane when they take the field on Wednesday.
Although Kane continues to remain a key figure in front of the goal, Kieran Trippier is the man who might play a pivotal role in Spurs’ success due to his ability to contribute equally on both ends.
Trippier, who was one of the standout performers for England at the World Cup, has hit the ground running in the Premier League with some impressive outings. The 28-year-old has started six games for the Lilywhites and has contributed with a goal and a couple of assists, along with discharging his defensive duties diligently.
Not many players in the Premier League can provide that perfect balance like Trippier does. His levels of concentration and composure have increased greatly in recent times and he has the confidence to dispossess the opposition with tackles in crucial areas of the park.
Trippier averages 2 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 1.5 aerial duels won per game – something any defender would be proud of. On the other hand, the 28-year-old averages 2 key passes and 0.5 shots per game, which are roughly the stats that define an attacking midfielder.
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He will be Spurs’ best bet to combat the threat of Ousmane Dembele down the left and make attacking runs on the overlap to supply the forwards with crosses. Trippier was brilliant with his crossing over the weekend and created a lot of chances. He should do the same against Barcelona and link the play with Lucas Moura down the right.
Trippier is likely to face a two-way battle – one against Ousmane Dembele in the defence and the other against Jordi Alba while going up front.
That said, Trippier and Kane must be at the top of their game to extract a positive result against the Catalan giants.
Go for it Emery – Signing this £18million La Liga powerhouse could work wonders for Arsenal
Why Arsenal must splash £18million to sign Ever Banega
Arsenal did not make a good start to their 2018/19 campaign under new boss Unai Emery, who took charge of the Gunners after the club decided to part ways with former boss Arsene Wenger.
Since arriving at the London club, Unai Emery has made quite a few good signings to give the team a new look. But despite the arrivals of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Bernd Leno and Lucas
Torreira, the team looks shaky and are finding it hard to make a mark against strong opponents.
Arsenal, who currently find themselves 7th in the table, must add new faces and enhance the quality of their squad when the transfer window reopens in January. And according to The Metro, Emery is interested in signing Sevilla ace Ever Banega, who has been a key part of the Spanish side for a long time.
But the player has a £18million buy-out clause and Arsenal must attempt to rope him in this time. Getting a player of
the 65-time capped Argentina international’s calibre could be a huge plus for the Gunners, as he would provide strong competition to the likes of Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka in the midfield.
Ever Banega showed his class in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where he featured thrice for Argentina. He was not selected by Jorge Sampaoli for the opener against Iceland but the midfielder proved his mettle by providing two assists in the three games he played a part in. Besides his heroics in the World Cup, the 30-year-old has been at his best for Sevilla for years and can also find the back of the net effortlessly.
With Mesut Ozil not in praiseworthy form, Arsenal desperately need a player who can dictate the midfield and there are few players who can do it better than Banega. He is creative and can produce moments of brilliance that could go a long way in deciding the outcome of a match. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in superb goalscoring form, Banega could be the perfect support system for the striker, thus helping Arsenal push their chances of success this season.
There is not a shadow of doubt about the fact that Banega would be a good signing for Arsenal. Furthermore, the Argentine is no stranger to Emery’s tactics as the two have previously worked together at Sevilla. Hence, it would be right for Arsenal to go after a proven player and if a deal materializes in January, the Gunners could emerge as serious contenders for the Premier League title.
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