One of the keys, but not the only one, to explaining Real Madrid’s dip in performance and results lies with Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese player has only scored four goals in 2015, over which time his team have played a total of nine matches and lost three.
CR7’s start to the season was stratospheric. Yet again he seemed hell-bent on obliterating all La Liga goalscoring records in his path. Caught up in another battle to win the Ballon d’Or, he delivered a spectacular four and a half months in which he scored a total of 29 goals across the UEFA Super Cup, La Liga and Champions League. He received his reward on 12th January when he lifted the third Ballon d’Or of his career.
Since the Club World Cup, however, his game and strike rate began to decline. He failed to score in either of the two games played in Morocco, where he also began to struggle with some discomfort in his patellar tendon, which has been causing him problems over the past year and a half.
The old Ronaldo has been missing in action since the turn of the year. He has only managed to score four goals, three in the Spanish league and one in the Copa del Rey (compared to 10 in September and 8 in October), although admittedly he has only played in six of the nine ‘Los Blancos’ matches.