A lot of media attention has surrounded the world’s greatest game – the Clasico – this upcoming Monday evening. The majority has been directed towards Barca’s Lionel Messi and his opposite number, Merengue’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
The most popular reports revolve about his current form and the fact that he hasn’t scored against Barcelona in previous encounters. However, no-one has mentioned that Ronaldo’s decision making is a lot poorer when he plays against FC Barcelona.
In the 2008 Champions League semi-final, while still playing for Manchester United, he was expected to tear apart the aging Gianluca Zambrotta and continue his then-spectacular form. Nevertheless, that was not the case. The wily veteran Zambrotta kept him in check with ease. This frustrated Ronaldo who became even more selfish, although fortunately for him, Manchester United still progressed.
In the following next year, Barca and Man United met again, this time in the final of the Champions League. Early on, Ronaldo looked to be at his best, as Valdes struggled to keep hold of his free-kick.
Then, almost immediately – against the run of play – Samuel Eto’o scored the opening goal of the game.
After that Ronaldo seemed to snap. He took to shots from the most outlandish angles, and bizarrely enough, he tried to pick on Carles Puyol!
This didn’t turn out too well for him though. Barca’s captain completely nullified any threat from Ronaldo, which angered him even further. He started to show his petulant side, fouling Puyol at any opportunity, eventually getting booked for his dirty plays.
Unluckily for CR7, Puyol doesn’t forget these things.
After having signed for Real Madrid, Ronaldo probably thought his luck against Barcelona would change. Well, he was wrong.
In both of last year’s Clasico’s, Ronaldo was pretty ineffective. He failed to score in either match as Puyol and Pique put in majestic performances at the heart of the defence. They threw themselves at any shot, and Puyol alone must’ve made at least 5 or 6 goal saving blocks.
However, his biggest blunder against Barcelona came when he was a red devil. In the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at the Camp Nou, a penalty was given 3 minutes into the game after a handball by Gabriel Milito.
Up steps Ronaldo…
He takes his trademark stance before starting the run-up…
The crowd goes quiet as Ronaldo hits the ball…WIDE!