Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid Star Can't Bring Home Silverware by Himself

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 18, 2012

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 16:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF falls during the match during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RCD Espanyol at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 16, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

In case you were wondering, soccer is a team sport. If it wasn't, Cristiano Ronaldo would be in a much better position for silverware.

Instead, despite some wonderful individual play by the Portuguese international, Real Madrid disappointingly sits in third in La Liga—after finishing atop the table last season—and was bested by Borussia Dortmund in Group D of the Champions League. 

Most clubs around the country would kill to just come close to those accomplishments—Madrid still advanced to the knockout stage of the UCL, after all. Certainly not a disappointment by any means, but it appears as though the Blancos will fail to bring home either of the two trophies they so desired at the beginning of the season.

As a knee-jerk reaction, Ronaldo will likely draw much of the criticism should they fail to do so. The stars always do. 

But there's no reason that should happen. 

The talented forward has been truly marvelous in La Liga this season. Let's start with his goal-scoring ability.

Through 16 appearances, the 27-year-old has found the back of the net an amazing 14 times. Granted, he has missed on some golden opportunities, but when you are finding a way to fire off a ridiculous 7.3 shots per match (by comparison, Lionel Messi is second in La Liga with 5.2 shots per match), that's excusable. 

As a playmaker down the left side, Ronaldo is averaging 1.2 completed dribbles and 2.4 fouls drawn per contest compared to just 2.4 turnovers. His ability on the ball and on the attack, as always, has been second to none. 

Moreover, he's setting up his teammates—averaging 32.7 passes at a 77.8 percent rate to go with 1.7 key passes per match and a total of three assists.

Ronaldo has found a way to compete in every aspect of the game, and as a result, has compiled an average match rating of 7.91 (according to whoscored.com). That's second in La Liga to only Messi. 

In Champions League play, the dynamic scorer has been just as good. In six contests, he already has six goals, an assist and an average match rating of 8.01. 

There's simply no real blame you can lay on Ronaldo for Madrid not being where it wants to be. With the way he's producing on the pitch with minimal help, any argument of that nature completely falls apart. 

Instead, look to guys like Angel Di Mari, Arbeloa, Pepe and other players who haven't quite played up to their potential with consistency. 

Cristiano Ronaldo is having another standout season, but Real Madrid, at least to its own lofty standards, isn't. It's time for someone else to step up.