Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thought: Could Scholes Be Part of the Reason Ronaldo Left?

Right now is on a quest to pick Manchester United’s best goal in the last decade. Their criteria are simple, which is actually the best goal, not necessarily the most meaningful goal, but which goal makes you say WOW! They narrowed it down to 20 goals in the past decade.

In the last three years Manchester United received 91 goals from one man alone, Cristiano Ronaldo. Lets put that into perspective, in three seasons Ronaldo scored 39% of all of Manchester United’s goals. Ronaldo also routinely dominated the shortlist for goal of the week. But when came out with their list of top 20 Ronaldo had just three goals in the top 20. The man who had the most, goals on the list? Paul Scholes with five.

While I may vote for Ronaldo’s 42-yard shot against Porto in the Champions League last year as the top goal of the decade, I can easily make an argument that Scholes five goals should finish numbers 2-6. Could this be a slight reason why Ronaldo left town for Real Madrid?

While 91 goals is an absolute ton of goals, I could only think of about 3 off the top of my head where Ronaldo created the goal himself and finished it himself. The rest were when teammates created and Ronaldo finished, or a free kick or a penalty kick, and lets not forget many times someone else won the penalty and Ronaldo stepped up to take the spot kick.

During his United career Ronaldo developed a reputation as being a diver. Eventually even the most passionate United fan would not be able to deny there were several times that he went down when he didn’t have to. For those that have come to know Ronaldo the reason why he would do this became clear over the years.

Cristiano Ronaldo always wanted to be the best. Furthermore wanted his goals to be prettier then everyone else’s goals. To Ronaldo, taking a free kick is the prime time to score the goal that everyone will be talking about. To Ronaldo breaking through on a breakaway and simply chipping the ball past the keeper would not be nearly as nice as taking a 30-yard free kick. Therefore if he were lightly touched, he would fall to ground, give up the breakaway, and take the free kick.

People who pay the most attention to Manchester United would always tell you, Ronaldo is the best player on the team, but when Scholes scores, its always special. This was confirmed when Scholes accounted for 25% of the top 20 goals. has long been conducting player interviews. Most of the questions are usually the same and the answers vary among the different players. However two questions always yield the same answers. Ronaldo is the best-dressed player on the team, and when asked who scores the best goals in training, the answer is always Paul Scholes.

For a player that wants to be the prime alpha dog, the best at everything, you don’t think that the fact that EVERY one of his teammates agreed that he was not scoring the best goals it would get to him eventually. No matter what he did on the field, he could never change people’s minds that Scholes scores the most magical goals. Ronaldo wants to play where he is the center of attention for every category.

Look, I know there are many reasons for Ronaldo joining Real Madrid. They were his favorite team growing up, and of course they offered him a ton of money. Furthermore he’s a selfish player, he’s won in England, and unlike United greats such as Scholes and Ryan Giggs who want to keep winning in England, Ronaldo does not. Ronaldo wants to win new things. I’m not saying that Ronaldo left because Scholes scores nicer goals, I’m just throwing the idea that for a player that wants the focus always on him, sharing it with someone who people agree is past his prime, could that have possibly just been in the back of his mind when making his decision?

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