Fans have figured out why Cristiano Ronaldo can't score free kicks in games
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been seen hammering home free kicks in training, and fans think they have figured out why he struggles to score them in games.
The 38-year-old switched the Premier League for the Saudi Pro League in January, as he left Manchester United to join Al-Nassr.
Whilst the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been among the goals during his time in Saudi Arabia - scoring eight goals in his first seven appearances in the competition - he is yet to find the back of the net from a direct free kick.
In fact, whilst Ronaldo has scored over 50 direct free kicks in his career - including famous efforts against Portsmouth and Spain - the Portuguese forward's record from such situations isn't fantastic.
It took Ronaldo 43 attempts to net his first direct free kick for Juventus, forcing a save from the opposition keeper on just 11 occasions.
25 of those free kicks hit the wall, five went either wide or over the bar, whilst just a single effort rattled back off the woodwork.
Footage has emerged on social media of the Al-Nassr forward hammering home free-kicks in training, leading fans to question why he struggles to do it in competitive matches.
One theory that has stuck out among the rest is that Cristiano is too reliant on the knuckleball technique that he adopted when he was in his younger years, one which has a far higher degree of difficulty compared to attempting to curl the ball around the wall.
Ronaldo shoots free kicks in training and he scores them ALL THE TIME... I don't know why he can't do it in games, maybe it's just bad luck.— A (@IconicCristiano) March 18, 2023
- Carlo Pinsoglio
"He knuckles when in the match. That's the problem. When he curls he normally scores or comes close" one Twitter user wrote.
"It's not a coincidence that the one free-kick he scored at Juventus, he curled it." added another.
A third stated: "It's because he refuses to drop the knuckleball in games for some reason. Quite clearly his free kicks are far better when he curls them, both in game and in training.
As seen in the video above, Ronaldo opts for the curled technique in training - or at least he does in this video - so the fact it is rarely seen on the pitch is somewhat surprising given his rather underwhelming record.
Whether he decides to revert to the curled free kick in the future remains to be seen, but it looks as though he may stand himself in good stead if he does.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter
Topics: Al Nassr, Cristiano Ronaldo, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Pro League, Football