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What was Cristiano Ronaldo thinking?

The three-time Ballon d'or winner missed the
best chance of the match for Real Madrid at a crucial moment of the game against
Atletico on Saturday, but turned on his team-mates after the derby defeat in an
astonishing attack that was more ferocious than any he had managed on the pitch.
Ronaldo tested Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak with a fierce free-kick in the first half
that was never likely to beat the Slovenian and dragged a low shot wide when he
should have hit the target at least in the second period. And moments later, Diego
Simeone's side took the lead through Antoine Griezmann.
Unable to score in the derby for fives games in a row now, invisible in the majority
of big games this season and padding out his goal stats with strikes against smaller
sides like Malmo, Eibar, Espanyol, Shakhtar Donestk and more, Cristiano chose not
to look at his own contribution after this latest loss but instead to take out his anger
on his team-mates.
"It annoys me that people say Cristiano's performances have dropped and that is
why Madrid's form has dipped," he said in the mixed zone after the game. "If all of
the players were at my level, we would be in first."
And he added: "From what the press says it seems like I am doing sh*t but the
numbers and statistics do not lie. They are there."
That is far from the reality, however. Until his recent double against Athletic Bilbao,
Ronaldo's goals had actually been responsible for adding only two points to Madrid's
tally in La Liga all season, with virtually all of his strikes coming with Real already in
On top of that, his lack of a real defensive contribution is another thorn in Madrid's
side. Coach Zinedine Zidane said when he took over in January that he wanted all of
the players dropping deep to defend and helping out. Gareth Bale and Karim
Benzema both responded, but Ronaldo barely bothered.
If all of the players adopted that attitude, Madrid would be much worse off than
their current and already disappointing position in third place behind both Barcelona
and Atletico with 12 games to play in the Primera Division
"I don't want to look down on anyone," Ronaldo said later on. "But when the best
players are missing, [Gareth] Bale, [Karim] Benzema... I like playing with Karim,
without him it's more difficult. And with Bale, with Marcelo. Danilo was the best on
the pitch today, but over a season it's complicated. I'm not saying Jese, Lucas
[Vazquez] or [Mateo] Kovacic aren't good, but... yes."
Those words will win the Portuguese few friends in the dressing room and if anyone

needs team-mates to succeed, it is Cristiano. Because gone are the days when the
forward would win matches on his own with individual brilliance. Now more than
ever before, he relies on his colleagues to create chances and set up his goals.
So speaking out of turn like this is a real low and a poor error of judgement on the
Portuguese's part. He is as much to blame for Madrid's malaise as anyone else and
perhaps more so because he is considered the side's star player.
In any case, this is a team game and Ronaldo's individualism only thrives when the
team is on form. So no, Madrid would not be better off with everybody playing as he
does, but worse - and if he really believes he is at the top of his game, he should
take a look back at some old videos to see how his form has dramatically
diminished in recent times.