The five-time Ballon d’Or winner came up with a clever assist last night against North Macedonia in the World Cup qualifying tie.

Fellow club teammate and compatriot Bruno Fernandes scored a brace to seal the victory for Portugal as they head towards the Qatar World Cup later this year.

Nonetheless, it was Ronaldo who fed it to Fernandes to open the scoresheet and take the lead in the first after nutmegging the opposition defender in the final third.

The all-time record goalscorer may be in his decline but over the past few years, he has shown another side of his game which has benefited Manchester United as well as his national side.

Since making the switch from Turin to Manchester in August 2021, the veteran has been involved in the majority of United’s attacks.

Whether it be providing assists, creating chances for our forwards, or making space behind, his footballing IQ has been unnoticed.

This season, there hasn’t been enough service for our center-forward, which is entirely due to the player’s inability to find him in the penalty box.

Keeping in mind that this campaignĀ has been one of our starlet’s worst, with one of his terrible goal droughts in recent memory.

A player who has been named and recognized sometimes as a ‘goal-machine’ or as a ‘superhuman’ following his remarkable records in the history books, there is another dynamism of Ronaldo’s game that very few people have kept an eye on.

Time and time again we have seen the Portuguese’s goalscoring ability which is undoubtedly his prime strength which is his primary job.

However, as evidenced by his two recent performances in the qualifying round against Turkey and North Macedonia, the 37-year-old striker has a rating of 7 or 8 out of 10 even though he didn’t score in both games.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick will certainly take note of the Portugal captain’s underrated prowess when his team returns to Old Trafford on Saturday to face Leicester City.

There have many occasions where Ronaldo has been involved in the build-up phases of United’s ambush, where he drops deep and pulls the center halves in order to make space for his two wide-wingers.

In his 24 appearances in the English top-flight, United’s no. 7 has made 21 key passes this season, with a passing accuracy of 82% and also averaging 1 chance creation per game.

So what should we expect from CR7 in the remaining games for Manchester United?

The Red Devils are about to enter a more difficult phase of the competition, one in which they will be eager for points in order to move up the league table.

The Mancunians have a paucity of players due to Mason Greenwood’s extended ban and Edinson Cavani’s regular match-fitness difficulties, thus Ronaldo remains their sole no.9 who must be at his best in every game.

With Arsenal and Tottenham presently ahead of Rangnick’s team, United will need to ramp up swiftly and avoid dropping points no matter who the opposition is.

Players like Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba are very sound in their creativity which will benefit Ronaldo in the penalty box if not he can come deep and find a player making the run behind.

The German coach has vast experience in bringing the best out of his players and after spending a good amount of time with the player, surely there will be another masterclass from the former Real Madrid attacker.

 

 

 

 

 

By THE UNITED DNA

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