As Lionel Messi grabbed a hat-trick for Argentina against Brazil yesterday, Cristiano Ronaldo preened and pouted in front of the world’s cameras while seemingly failing to make an impact against Germany. Not for the first time his critics pointed out his lack of presence on the big stage.
Of the 22 players that started, only Mario Gomez and Helder Postiga touched the ball less times than Ronaldo. He made more tackles than he did dribbles. However, he still had more shots on target than the rest of his team-mates put together and created more chances than anyone else in the team to boot.
Differentgame went further into the record books to see if the critic’s Ronnie-bashing is justified.
First, we had to clarify what a “big game” was. You could argue that every Real Madrid, Manchester United and Portugal game is a big deal but we decided to compare his overall goal record for club and country against his figures for domestic cup finals, Champions League KO games and international tournaments.
Ronaldo has scored a whopping 301 goals in 558 games for club and country at a rate of 0.54 goals per game.
Ronaldo has scored 28 goals in 62 “big” games at a rate of 0.45 goals per game.
He is not even a striker. The critics can say what they like. Ronaldo is a big game player. Even when he looks like he’s having a poor game, he’s the main threat from his side. On Wednesday, the Ronaldo v Messi saga might just take another twist.
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