Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ronaldo the Savior?

Following a shock 3-2 defeat against Milan at home in the Champions League, and an even more shocking defeat to Alcorcon 4-0 in the Copa del Rey, many Real Madrid fans are calling for injured star Cristiano Ronaldo to return to action to “save” the team before it is too late.

The ahem always modest Ronaldo has quickly calmed the Madrid faithful by saying “We are not going through a great moment but neither am I the savior.” Ronaldo’s comments went on to imply that it’s unrealistic for fans to expect one player to turn the team around. While I believe it is fundamentally true that one man does not make a team, I do not believe it is out of line for Madrid fans to put pressure on Ronaldo to “save” them.

Considering that Ronaldo scored five goals for Madrid in five La Liga games, all of them wins, and the fact that the £80 million transfer man’s yearly salary is roughly that of Alcorcon’s entire team, I would be hard pressed to find a Madrid fan who would not claim that Ronaldo is the key component of the Madrid lineup.

I believe that Ronaldo should not return from injury before he is ready just to please the fans, but at the same time I think Ronaldo needs to recognize his importance to both his team and the fans.

In short, when your team is struggling, and your most talented and highest paid player is injured, fans have every right to hope that his return will be the thing the team needs to turn the season around. Ronaldo should not take the idea of being a “savior” as added pressure, but instead look at it as a vote of confidence by the Madrid fans.

A return against struggling rivals Atletico Madrid on November 8th could be the perfect situation for Ronaldo to begin his campaign to save the Madrid season.

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