Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Sliding Ronaldo

Why Real Madrid coach Wanderly Luxemburgo chose for Brazilian striker Rolando over Michael Owen in the 2 leg Champions League matchup over Juventus, still eats at me, this long after the match (yes, I do have other things more important to worry about).

In football terms, given at least a half hour to play, Michael Owen has shown the Bernabeu faithful that he can score prolifically. Ronaldo has not. Scoring only 12 league goals this season compared to Samuel Eto’o at the top with 18. And consider that Michael Owen has 9 in his limited role?

In football terms as well, Ronaldo’s quickness has taken a dive recently. This is apart from the slide which has existed since his glorious days at Barcelona and unfortunate injuries. Juventus did not have much problem containing Ronaldo. Michael Owen would have done better against them because he is quicker and no worse a threat in the air.

In fact I felt that Owen should have remained the starter after Ronaldo’s earlier season injury. He scored the majority of those 9 goals at that time. At that rate he would be equal to Eto’o at 18.

The excellent Thomas Gravesen has done much for Madrid. The diamond has also been an outstanding formation and Figo has also played well centrally. The team as a whole is better than Juventus but that first leg deserved a bigger goal difference. Owen could have been the missing link.

Luxemburgo has made mostly good decisions as coach. It seems to me that sympathetic feelings towards Ronaldo are clouding his choice up front. While Ronaldo is still world class, he is overweight and it is impacting his biggest strength.

Let’s see what newcomer Robinho does to the mix next year.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

shut up u girl

6/18/2005 5:04 PM  

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