Cristiano Ronaldo Is The Worst Free-Kick Taker In Serie A, Stats Say
Cristiano Ronaldo has smashed it in Italy, with 17 goals and six assists in the league so far for Juventus. But his set-piece prowess is seemingly non-existent these days, as the statistics show.
Ronaldo perfected the 'knuckleball' free-kick, scoring 13 from dead-ball situations in his six years at Manchester United before notching 30 in his nine-year spell at Real Madrid.
However, his set-piece taking abilities have declined big-time of late. He did score a last-gasp beauty for Portugal in the thrilling 3-3 draw against Spain in the World Cup but that was his only free-kick in 2018.
And this season, we've seen a lot of his trademark technique, with the shorts getting pulled up and the thighs being shown, but to absolutely no avail.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has taken 13 free-kicks and failed to score every single one of them in Bianconeri colours - thus boasting the worst conversion rate in the league according to Fox Sports Asia.
Ronaldo was immediately made Juventus' first-choice free-kick taker upon joining the club but Max Allegri revealed a change regarding dead-balls back in November.
"Ronaldo is a smart guy, he knows Pjanic and Dybala are excellent free-kick takers and they are going to take those close to the area," the Juventus boss said, as per Calciomercato.
"When there are free kicks from far away, Ronaldo can kick them but we've decided that Dybala and Pjanic will take the set pieces close to the area."
Pjanic and Dybala are two of the very best set-piece specialists in world football and the latter sent a hilarious text to his fellow free-kick king when Ronaldo signed.
"When Ronaldo arrived, I wrote to Pjanić in our chat room: 'Sorry, Mire, but I think you won't be taking many free kicks this year," Dybala told La Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia.
"All joking aside, we know how it works: on the left there's Cristiano, we just stand there to make a good photograph."
Are Ronaldo's free-kicks overrated?
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