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He Used To Be The Best Dribbler In The World. Now All That’s Left Is This Video.

When Real Madrid played Espanyol two weekends ago, no one expected anything other than a commanding Madrid victory, and that’s exactly what happened. No one player was a bigger manifestation of that dominance than Cristiano Ronaldo. He scored 5 goals that day, ending the season’s first prematurely controversial goal drought at just 2 games. He would go on to score a hat trick three days later in the Champions League.

Looking at the statistics, Ronaldo is still one of the most dominant players of all time, and when it comes to scoring no one can argue that. But, something has changed recently. 

The Cristiano Ronaldo that many people fell in love with at Manchester United is gone. He is no longer the trickster winger or forward who takes on defenders with the ball at his feet. According to Grantland, Ronaldo took on a defender 5.16 times per 90 minutes during his second year at Real Madrid. In 2013/14 that figure dropped to only 3.63 times per game, and last season it dropped further to 3.39.

Let alone dribbling at a defender, Ronaldo only has the ball at his feet for a fraction of the time he used to. When he first joined Real Madrid he covered 385 yards with the ball at his feet per 90 minutes. Last year he only covered 228 yards per 90.

The old Cristiano Ronaldo is dead and gone, and he simply does not dribble the ball the way he used to any more. Which is a shame, because young Ronaldo was an absolute beast on the ball. He would make defenders do what ever he wanted: he would freeze them with a step over or make them move to one side with a body feint so he could shoot to the other. Defending him one on one when he had the ball was absolutely hopeless, and that’s what the following video shows you. 

Rom7ooo, one of the best in the YouTube compilation game, has created his next masterpiece: a compilation of Ronaldo dropping defenders to the floor. 

You see him at the height of his step over obsession at United, as well as in his ultimate prime at Real Madrid. And make no mistake, Ronaldo’s prime has passed. He is still an unreal goal scorer; there is no reason to believe that will stop any time soon. But he will never again beat a defender over and over from the wing, hit a burst of pace, and score a goal that leaves us all wondering if he might actually be better than Lionel Messi. 

One thing is for sure, Lionel Messi would never do this: 

Follow me on Twitter: @yetly

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