Is former Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo now more of a team player?
Former Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo notched his 14th La Liga assist of the season during Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Malaga - the most he has ever recorded in a single campaign.
Since trading United for Madrid in the summer of 2009, the Portuguese superstar has been vying with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in smashing a number of goal-scoring records.
His current goals-to-game return for Los Blancos reads 302 strikes in 291 appearances in all competitions, an utterly phenomenal record and one which may never be seen again in the famous white shirt.
However, Ronaldo has been accused of a self-obsessed style of play and personal objectives have often led to stark criticism, many football observers labelling the 30-year-old as arrogant among other words.
His now infamous scream of joy at the Ballon d’Or gala in January may back that opinion up somewhat, but his assist record this season goes to show that he does take teamwork seriously.
13 - @Cristiano Ronaldo has now made 13 assists La Liga 2014/15, his best haul in a single league season (La Liga + Premier League). Laser.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) abril 18, 2015
During Madrid’s 3-1 win over Malaga yesterday, the former Old Trafford idol crossed for Sergio Ramos to head the hosts ahead before he teed up Colombian ace James Rodriguez to double his side’s lead.
His first assist - his 13th of the campaign - broke his previous record of 12 league assists in a single season and grabbing another shortly after further highlighted his more nuanced game.
Still, Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s victory wasn’t complete without Ronaldo getting himself on the score-sheet as he slotted in a Javier Hernandez cross to reach 50 goals in all competitions for this season.
He naturally gets the plaudits for his goals, but ask anyone connected to Madrid and they will tell you how underrated he is in terms of teamwork and spotting teammates in a better position to score.