What seemed to be the case against Valencia continued against Levante: without Cristiano Ronaldo, Real’s play was lacking in attack and it is because of both tactical and human resources reasons. This is an analysis of the Madrid‘s centre-forward problem.
The lack of attacks without Ronaldo
MADRID. 2: 2 against Valencia, 1: 1 against Levante – the last two days for Real Madrid did not go as planned. Having started the new season with the triumphs over Manchester United (2-1) and Barcelona (3-1 and 2-0) as well as the 3-0 victory at Deportivo La Coruña, they are already four points behind table leader Barcelona. If the match against Valencia was to be classified as “unfortunate” due to the exorbitantly high number of high-ranking players, in particular Karim Benzema, the draw against Levante was also very disappointing due to the game itself.
Above all, however, a problem emerged very clearly, which in the encounters before – despite the good results and also predominantly strong appearances – had already indicated in time: Real Madrid succeeded in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo only conditionally. Without the Portuguese, the team lacks the last “punch” of the attacks and, above all, the necessary presence in the penalty area or a real target player in breakthroughs of the wing players. Or strikingly expressed: If Ronaldo is not on the field, the other team members could find themselves in a lot of danger on the field.
The characteristics of Ronaldo
It is no surprise that Christiano Ronaldo plays such big role in the team. He is a world famous football player, and there are certain things that make him stand out from the others. For example, he is extremely disciplined and professional. Moreover, Ronaldo became a star because he is good at making the right decisions, and he is committed to improvement. Many young people wish that they could play like Ronaldo, but it takes a lot of time and practice to reach his level. However, there many ways to improve skills which can help Ronaldo on the field. For instance, the characteristics which help world famous football players can be improved by playing various games online. There are a lot of games for free online which suit these needs perfectly. The ability to understand your opponents, plan your actions, and even be a fast thinker can all be improved while playing them, and it is a great chance for those who do not have a possibility to spend the whole day on the field or simply want to switch up their daily routine.
Interaction with Benzema: the perfect environment for Ronaldo
Firstly, the role played by the world famous football player in the Blancos system must be considered at this point. The number 7 acts nominally on the left wing, but Madrid’s best goalkeeper in history is mostly in the centre or in the penalty area. On the other hand, Karim Benzema, on the paper, the mid-striker, can always fall back into the midfield or to the outside in order give space or fill the empty zones. This interaction has perfected both players over the years, embedded in the excellently coordinated processes of the entire team, Ronaldo has thus created an environmentin which the 32-year-old perfectly works – with Benzema in the role as a hybrid player and as a crucial puzzle piece.
Even if the Portuguese is “thirsty” (which is, in view of his fantastic numbers in recent years, actually the wrong word) in front of the opponent, he is still a central figure in the attack game of the Madrid. One reason being the presence of the opponent ‘s defensive lines, on the other hand, because of his outstanding game without a ball – which is certainly one of his greatest strengths with all his football and athletic abilities –it is an uncanny space for his (advancing) co-players.
However, if Ronaldo fails, this is immediately apparent in the statistics of the game. Neither Benzema, nor Gareth Bale or Marco Asensio are players who consistently occupy these spaces, as the four-time world famous football player does in an inimitable manner. While Benzema – quite in his pre-eminent role as Ronaldo‘s extra – is always involved in the game and creates situations in the midfield and on the wing, both Bale and Asensio prefer to come out at a slower pace.
Only time will show whether Real Madrid will manage to solve their human resources and tactical problems which affect the team in a negative way.