La Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo in Real Madrid, David Villa vs. Ibrahimovic

Isaac AsanteCorrespondent IIAugust 12, 2010

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic shaking hands after a match
Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic shaking hands after a match

Last year saw Barcelona and Real Madrid making major changes, with the Galacticos signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, while the Catalans landed Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter Milan.


Cristiano Ronaldo vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Both superstars had amazing achievements for their previous clubs, and their arrival in La Liga raised great doubts upon their subsequent form and adaption with Spain’s geographical and climatic characteristics. Obviously, after the end of the 2009/10 season, one player appeared to be much better than the other; and if someone really stole the attention from the public through an excellent performance, then it wasn’t Ibrahimovic.

Before the start of that particular season however, key members of the senior Barcelona football club openly condemned Real Madrid for their “immature and excessive reliance on money and stars” to achieve their goals.

Los Blancos had already signed Brazilian star Kaka by then, but Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta even stated that all in all, it were still the Blaugrana who were going to make the most profit. A large part of their explanations were founded on their personal point of view, affirming  that the discounted Messi-Ibra pair in Barca’s front was going to be more effective than the over-expensive Ronaldo-Kaka pair in Madrid’s attack.

Well, it happened that a few weeks before the 2010 World Cup, Barcelona managed to grab La Liga title. But although they were aiming for a consecutive treble, their attainment was not bad at all comparing to a power-packed Real Madrid side who ended their 2009/10 season cupless.

Indeed, this showed how strong Barcelona’s mentality and team spirit were; yet in truth, this was to be seen as a team accomplishment. But what about the Messi-Ibra pair in front? What about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s shape throughout the season?

In fact, just like French forward Thierry Henry, Ibrahimovic also claimed to have adaption problems. This made him waste glorious chances repeatedly; and more importantly, he even became incapable of assuming his vital responsibilities in times when he was most needed. Somehow, he could blame himself for Barcelona’s exit in the Copa del Rey and in the UEFA Champions League; although on the other hand, he could only think of moving on in his career and learn from his previous mistakes so as not to repeat them in the future.


Statistics: Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Eventually, the statement declaring that the Messi-Ibra pair was stronger than the Ronaldo-Kaka pair turned out to be wrong; and speaking of the individual battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan, everyone knows who emerged victorious…

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 33 goals in a total of 35 appearances for Real Madrid, whereas Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored only 21 goals in 41 appearances–which is quite a poor record for a striker. Nevertheless, this season, Barcelona seem to be stronger in terms of overall physical abilities, as they have made the promising signing of one of the world’s best forwards: David Villa.


New Barcelona signing,  David Villa vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The Spanish striker was transported from Valencia CF for a record fee of 40 million Euros. Looking at his potentials, there is no doubt that he will perfectly replace an unproductive Ibrahimovic who is likely to land in the Serie A or in the Premier League before the end of the summer transfer window.

David Villa scored 28 goals in 45 appearances for Los Che last season, and he also played a key role for Spain during their 2010 World Cup qualification, and during the 2009 Confederations Cup. He also emerged as one of the stars in South Africa, even though he was surprisingly goalless in the final against Holland.

Predictably, in the upcoming La Liga season which is about to kick off, there will probably be absolutely no sign of displeasure from Barcelona toward the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo in Real Madrid. This however does not rule out in any case Villa’s strict order to live up to expectations, since failure from his part might not only destroy the club’s season, but also hurt the team financially.

Regardless, a hungry Real Madrid side have once again proved their determination to clinch titles by making further changes in the squad; which includes the landing of Champions League winning coach Jose Mourinho. Such a manager taking over a side as amazing as the Galacticos containing the likes of the Portuguese winker Ronaldo surely means a lot to all their rivals.

This goes without saying that Barcelona need to do their homework, and indubitably, David Villa knows what to do. Having outstanding passers such as Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez by his sides, he will have no choice but to impose himself in front and help his side snatch as much triumphs as possible in all competitions. Hence, speaking of the one who will assume his responsibilities better between Villa and Ibrahimovic, everyone knows that it better be the Catalans’ new No 7.