After Real Madrid’s Champions League campaign was unceremoniously cut by Juventus in the semis, former team director of football Arrigo Sacchi says the forward was not in top form during the most crucial parts of the tournament.
“For three months now Cristiano Ronaldo has not gone past a player,” Sacchi said. “He scores goals, as he is a fighter, but he is not fit.” Ronaldo scored all the two goals that Madrid garnered in their 3-2 aggregate loss in the semis. However, the former director noted that the forward was as not as impactful during the two semis legs as he was expected to be.
Sacchi also pointed out that the penalty shot he made in the second leg, which served as an equalizer for Madrid, was his only successful shot during the match.
Ronaldo admitted in January that he has playing through pain during their Copa del Rey Last-of-16 round, where they were eliminated by city rival Atletico Madrid. The pain is believed to be linked to the tendinosis injury he sustained last year, but Ronaldo insisted that it did not affect his performance.
The 30-year old forward has managed to complete regular time in all of his 21 club games in the last three months. he also helped his national squad Portugal in winning their Euro 2016 qualifier against Serbia in March.
Meanwhile, while fans went soft on Ronaldo after their surprise elimination in the Champions League, they were not as kind to Gareth Bale and Iker Casillas. In a poll conducted by the local sports media, a large number of respondents would want to see the long-time team captain go. However, fans were split as to whether Bale should exit or stay. The 25-year old winger has been heavily criticised in the last few months for a lacklustre performance, despite the hype surrounding his entry into Madrid in 2013.
On the other hand, support for manager Carlo Ancelotti was overwhelming, with 63 percent wanting the Italian to stay. Ancelotti admitted that he expects the loss in the Champions semis to affect his evaluation by the team.