Ronaldo is synonymous with a plethora of records and accomplishments, but he has also had a significant impact on the beautiful game that we all love. Cristiano Ronaldo revolutionized the winger position.
In modern football, wingers are expected to be one of their teams’ primary goal scorers and creators and shoulder a significant amount of attacking responsibility. Numerous individuals, including Neymar, Sadio Mane, Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, and others, have continued to outscore their strikers, sometimes significantly so.
Notwithstanding, their guarded job has diminished, because of both enhancement and strategic improvement in hostile and cautious systems.
You wouldn’t believe it if someone told you in 2003 that many teams’ primary goal scorers would be wingers. However, history was made when a small Madeira boy arrived in Manchester.
Time as a winger at Manchester United
When Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Manchester United, he was 18 years old. He played as a winger there. The Red Demons had been exploring him for more than a year, and Ronaldo showed what he can do in a cordial Wearing and Joined together.
He started out playing in a 4-4-2 formation, which was the most popular at the time, as a wide midfielder and winger. He was a very difficult winger who was always eager to challenge players and score whenever he had the ball.
In his first three seasons, Ronaldo had 25 assists and 27 goals. It was obvious that he was scoring more goals, and he continued to support his teammates. It was deemed to be very good that any winger scored twelve goals.
Ronaldo scored a staggering 23 goals and contributed 14 assists for his team during the 2006–07 season. This was whenever he first outscored the two strikers in the group, Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha.
Ronaldo not only made significant progress, but he also had much more freedom up front with the strikers. On paper, Ronaldo moved up to a 4-3-3 formation while attacking, allowing him to make numerous more dangerous runs in behind and into dangerous areas for goalscorers despite the formation’s 4-4-2 configuration.
Development of Ronaldo into an inside forward at Real Madrid
Previously limited to strikers, the Portuguese had evolved into an attacking outlet alongside the winger on the opposite side. Ronaldo no longer needed to track back as much because the midfield was joined in a double pivot by another player instead of wingers.
He scored a staggering 42 goals and contributed eight assists during the 2007–08 season. With 31 goals, Ronaldo broke the record for the most goals scored in a Premier League season, surpassing only Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah with 32, a stunning increase of almost 20 goals from the previous campaign.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner showed the world the highest heights of a modified winger when he moved to Real Madrid for a record-breaking fee.
This led to his transformation into an inside forward. In the 4-2-3-1 system, he played as a winger and was more involved in attacking than defending. In fact, he only played as an attacker at Real Madrid, where he played on the left side of the field.
The majority of his time was spent up front, waiting to attack the opposing defense where he had previously to track back. But there was more. It wasn’t just as an attacking winger that he scored more than 60 goals in four straight years; He frequently played as an “inside forward,” pairing up closely with the striker but remaining slightly on the left, specifically on the flank.
The 37-year-old dribbled diagonally toward the goal after coming in from the left and attacking in the field with runs off the ball. He frequently remained on the sidelines and vertically dribbled players to pass or cross from the left.
He started playing regularly at left forward around 2014, and he still finds it to be his most comfortable position today.
As they became more goal-oriented and focused on the end result, they were no longer the same players. The way football was played and the tactics used changed significantly as this position developed.